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Research

Mapping Religion, Space, and Economic Outcomes in Indian Cities

Working Paper, August 2021 | Sripad Motiram, Vamsi Vakulabharanam,

Sripad Motiram and Vamsi Vakulabharanam deploy a socio-spatial approach and use a spatially representative survey in Hyderabad and Mumbai to analyze the relation between city, space, and religion. They identify poor-ghettos and elite-enclaves in Hyderabad and Mumbai. In both cities, ghettos have a high proportion of Muslims, while enclaves are dominated by non-Muslim inhabitants. Ghettoization of Muslims is far more pronounced in Hyderabad than in Mumbai. A key finding on the relation between city space and religion is that compared to segregated neighborhoods, mixed (“grayer”) neighborhoods produce better economic outcomes like lower poverty.
Commentary

Letter to Repeal Farm Acts in India

Commentary, December 2020 | Sripad Motiram, Sirisha C. Naidu, Smita Ramnarain, Smriti Rao, Vamsi Vakulabharanam

Research

South Asian Economies in Two Imperialist Regimes Between 1950 and 2020

Working Paper, December 2020 | Vamsi Vakulabharanam

This paper by PERI researcher Vamsi Vakulabharanam explores the evolution of post-colonial South Asian economies. He describes how dominant classes, including landed interests, private capital, and government bureaucrats in South Asia prevented a progressive economic restructuring. Crises that threatened to radically transform the existing social order were solved through an ‘imperialist fix,’ whereby the dominant classes in conjunction with the state sought external help. Imperialist countries then used the region as a ‘spatial fix’ to solve their own crises. These two processes define the mutual engagement of imperialism and South Asian economies during this period.
Research

Gender and Work Patterns in Indian Cities: A Socio-Spatial Analysis

Working Paper, September 2020 | Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Sripad Motiram

Using an original household survey conducted in Hyderabad and Mumbai that identifies intracity spatial coordinates of residents, PERI researcher Vamsi Vakulabharanam and Sripad Motiram present a socio-spatial analysis of gender and paid work. They show that the ease of movement through the city, allocation of care work related considerations and educational attainment are all crucial to understanding the labor force participation patterns of urban women. A gender lens identifies key facets of access and mobility characterizing urbanization in developing countries. Spatial heterogeneity of residence has very different outcomes for the labor force participation of women and men.
Commentary

Pandemics and Indian Cities

Commentary, July 2020 | Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Sripad Motiram

Research

Intra-City Inequalities, Neighborhoods and Economic Development

Working Paper, February 2020 | Sripad Motiram, Vamsi Vakulabharanam

How do neighborhood characteristics and social cleavages within cities influence economic development? This study by PERI economist Vamsi Vakulabharanam and Sripad Motiram addresses these questions for the Indian cities of Hyderabad and Mumbai. The study conducts an inequality decomposition exercise to show that a substantial portion of intra-city income inequality is explained by social cleavages such as classes and social groups (caste and religion). The results show both that urban inequalities are stark, and that spatial co-existence of classes and social groups (a phenomenon that the authors term as “Grayness”) is pronounced, with Grayness exerting a strong positive impact on development.
Research

On the Measurement of "Grayness" of Cities

Working Paper, June 2018 | Sripad Motiram, Vamsi Vakulabharanam

Sripad Motiram and Vamsi Vakulabharanam of PERI consider situations where individuals belonging to multiple groups inhabit a space that can be divided into smaller distinguishable units, a feature characterizing many cities in the world.  They conceptualize a phenomenon that they term "Grayness" - a combination of spatial integration based upon group-identity and income. Grayness is high when cities display a high degree of spatial co-existence in terms of both identity and income. They develop an index of Grayness, then apply this Grayness index to both the Indian city of Hyderabad and selected American cities.
Research

Migration, Crises, and Social Transformation in India Since the 1990s

Working Paper, January 2018 | Smriti Rao, Vamsi Vakulabharanam

Since liberalization, urban migration in India has increased in quantity, but also changed in quality, with permanent marriage migration and temporary, circular employment migration rising, even as permanent economic migration remains stagnant. In this new paper, Smriti  Rao and Vamsi Vakulabharanam understand internal migration in India to be a re-ordering of productive and reproductive labor that signifies a deep transformation of society. This transformation is a response to the combination of agrarian, employment, and social reproduction crises.  The migration patterns support capital accumulation, but create major burdens for a majority of Indians, who are seeking stable, rooted livelihoods.
Research

China, India and Southeast Asia: Paths to Development and State-Society Relations: Introduction

The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs

Journal Article, November 2016 | Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Edmund Terence Gomez, Cheong Kee Cheok

PERI’s Vamsi Vakulabharanam co-authors two new articles in a Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs’ special edition on China, India and Southeast Asia. In the Introduction to the special edition, Vakulabharanam and co-authors present an overview of the complexities of state-society relations and address the effects of India and China’s new political economies on Southeast Asia and the global economy. In a second piece, “Growth and Distribution Regimes in India,” the authors discuss the four different regimes of capitalist growth and distribution since India’s Independence. They show that as economic growth in India accelerated, private capitalists and professional classes became increasingly able to utilize the state to further their own interests.
Research

Growth and Distribution Regimes in India since Independence

The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs

Journal Article, November 2016 | Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Rahul De

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