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RESEARCH PROPOSAL

My research interest strongly arises from the research work I undertook as a part of my present employment at National Transport Development Policy Committee, Planning Commission of India which focuses on the development of an efficient Transport System for India with a vision year 2030. Working Title: Impact of Infrastructure investment on Firms and Households in India Research Objective: To examine if the continued increase in investment in infrastructure, especially urban public infrastructure, in India is justified and if this investment is directed towards increased welfare at the micro level and if this investment, besides enhancing economic growth, also reduces poverty and unemployment and enhances welfare and improves the productivity of firms as well. Introduction: There is a great amount of study analyzing the impact of Infrastructure investment on Economic Growth. Somehow, I realized that it is important to understand what impact such investment might have on households as well as firms especially in a developing economy like India where the public investment in infrastructure plays a huge role in its development and the investment in this area is increasing every year. It is important to understand if the economy is able to convert this increased investment into increased welfare. It is also important to analyze the kind of social redistribution as well as change in the firms performance that would take place through such an investment. In the light of this, I want to study the impact of infrastructure investment on the welfare of households and firms, that is, how does infrastructure development and investment in infrastructure shape outcomes at the household and the firm level and the investigation of the best methodologies to evaluate the impact of various infrastructure investments on development outcomes.

Research Questions: How does public investment in infrastructure affect the firms as well as households in the short and long run? To be more precise, what is the impact of this investment on the rural versus urban development, employment and household income, poverty & inequality, on the cost of production and productivity for firms? How does the policies to increase infrastructure investment in India are justifies in their impact?

Why is India not able to achieve a respectable level of urbanization and still ranks low even among the developing countries despite heavy investments in infrastructure? What are the shortcomings in its policies that promote this investment? Does public investment in infrastructure crowds out private investment?

Methodology: Intertemporal Dynamic CGE modelling will be able to evaluate not only the economy wide impact of a policy but also will take into account the long term impact as well. While the data on public and private investment on infrastructure would be easily available from the Planning Commission and other government related websites, the data on household income and consumption is compiled by the National Sample Survey Office in India. The data on employment, productivity and consumer prices for India is also available from RBI and CSO.