Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

PDR

THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW 

S. S. Khanka. Human Resource Management (Text and Cases). (Shorter Notices-2008-2)

S. S. Khanka. Human Resource Management (Text and Cases). New Delhi: S. Chand and Company Ltd. 2007. 449 pages. Paperback. Price not given. Human Resource Management (HRM) is a process of procuring, maintaining, and controlling competent human resources in an organisation so that the organisational goals are achieved in an effective and efficient manner. Khanka’s book deals with nearly all aspects of Human Resource Management (HRM). The book is divided into seven major sections, namely, (1) Environment and Strategies, (2) Acquisition and Absorption, (3) Development, (4) Maintenance and Retention, (5) Control, (6) Miscellaneous, and (7) Cases from Indian organisations. These seven major sections are further divided into subsections as chapters. The book provides an insight into some of the emerging and current issues regarding HRM such as job evaluation, career planning, employee empowerment, social security, industrial relations, performance appraisal, personnel research, and international human resource management. Some practical examples have also been drawn from Indian organisations to further illustrate the role of HRM at the organisational level. The author is of the view that the HRM environment is affected by internal forces (such as professional bodies, unions, policies, etc.) as well as external forces (such as economic, political, technological, and demographic forces—sex, age, literacy, mobility, etc.). He argues that Human Resource Planning plays a significant role for the establishment of a quality organisation by identifying the quality and the quantity of people required in the organisation and then selecting the right people for the right job. Internal mobility (in the form of promotion, demotion, transfer, etc.) and several factors affecting job design, recruitment process, and the selection process have been explained. The author discusses the role of employee discipline, employee grievances, employee health and safety, trade unionism, incentives, and social security for effective functioning of any organisation. The roles of personnel research, human resource accounting (HRA), and human resource information system (HRIS) are also explained in the Control section. Cultural and economic factors, labour cost, and industrial relations have been identified as the elements forming a perspective for international HRM. This volume will benefit those interested generally in human resource management, and particularly the MBA and M.Com students. (Saddam Akber Abbasi)

Peter Isard, Leslie Lipschitz, Alexandros Mourmouras, Boriana Yontcheva (eds). The Macroeconomic Management of Foreign Aid—Opportunities and Pitfalls. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund. 2006. 277 pages. Paperback. US $28. The ten articles in this book written by internationally well-known economists and presented in a seminar organised by the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions are concerned with the scaling up of foreign aid in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. These articles address the issues such as the relationship between aid, growth, and poverty reduction; effectiveness of foreign aid conditions for macroeconomic policies; the potential for large increases in aid to affect the competitiveness of the recipient country adversely; volatility and unpredictability of foreign aid; the impact of higher aid flows on the debt sustainability of recipients; and the effect of aid on institutions. Steven Radelet’s paper on “Aid and Growth” disaggregates aid into humanitarian assistance, early impact aid to finance infrastructure, and direct investment and other sectors, and late impact aid to finance investments in human capital and social capital. He concludes that early impact aid has a strong and robust impact on growth, but argues that aid is not fully fungible and different types of aid have different types of relation to growth. Aart Kraay’s “Aid Growth and Poverty” focuses on the effectiveness of aid in the presence of macroeconomic policies and finds that only 4 percent variation is explained by aid. He also points out that growth is the predominant force behind poverty reduction, and governance problems are a significant constraint on both growth and poverty reduction. David L. Bevan reviews the macroeconomic issues and concludes that there is no general case for believing that enhanced resources cannot be used effectively even if aid is large relative to the economy. High aid inflow in a case study of Ghana examines the macroeconomic policy response to scaling up aid inflow in 2001-03. The authors state that the aid inflows during this period were volatile and unpredictable, fluctuating by several percentage points of GDP. The findings of the study suggest that aid may be useful temporarily, and aid would appear to be the least attractive option especially when domestic sterilisation is used to avoid pressure on inflation and exchange rate appreciation. Mark and Hans examine the issue of the effective absorption capacity of the economy as a result of higher resource flows. They analyse the Ethiopian case by distinguishing between direct aid and spending aid on social sectors to achieve the MDGs. Spending on infrastructure helps to achieve the objective of poverty reduction and spending on social services helps to achieve the other MDGs. The study considers the trade-off between infrastructure and social spending. The results also suggest that Dutch disease is a serious concern in the case of Ethiopia. The large scale of aid inflow, other than direct aid, is costly. Christopher Adam’s study is concerned with two objectives: first, the macroeconomic transmission from aid inflows to the real exchange rate and export performance; and, second, the determining of the macroeconomic response to increased aid flows. The central messages of this study is that when there is an initial lack of public infrastructure, aid impact is positive. The real exchange rate may overshoot due to the economy’s response to aid inflow; aid inflow may shift the non-tradable goods supply significantly. According to Bulir and Hamann’s findings, aid is more volatile than domestic revenue. Daseking and Joshi analyse the debt sustainability problems of low-income countries and find that for many countries the debt sustainability problems worsened, even though the loans were highly concessional. In the final chapter, the authors analyse the relationships among aid, governance, and political economy. They conclude that policies may be insufficient to achieve growth when institutions are weak. (Muhammad Javid)

Paul Cook and Sarah Mosedale (ed.). Regulation, Markets and Poverty. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2007. 185 pages. Hardbound. Price not given. This is a collection of papers that examine the new wave of approaches to regulation and competition. The papers demonstrate that the models of regulation and competition derived from developed country practices have been rooted in sophisticated levels of economic, social, administrative, legal, and political institutionalisation. These models of regulation and competition are largely absent or less developed in developing countries. The analysis shows that better regulation and less poverty play an important role in improving both the performance of enterprises and the delivery of essential services. The issue of regulation and competition in the context of poverty in developing countries forms the backbone of this book. Following the introduction, the book is organised into five parts, and each part has several chapters covering the relevant issues. The first part consists of three chapters dealing with competition and competition policy. Part II takes into account the issues of regulatory governance and regulatory transfers. Part III concentrates on utility regulation. Part IV discusses the need for capacity building to deal with regulation and competition policies. The selection of articles here presents the results of conceptual and empirical research in areas that deserve further investigation. (Umaima Arif)

Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay and Navsharan Singh (ed.). Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development. New Delhi and Ottawa: Zubaan/International Development Research Centre. 2007. 358 pages. Softbound. Price not given. The introduction by Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay brings together the major issues, which are multidisciplinary in nature. The feminist scholars provide new insights for advocacy and research. The objective of this book is to explore the meaning of gender justice followed by citizenship and the state as shaped by specific histories, culture, and struggle. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is the concept of gender justice concerning current thinking of gender equality that the citizenship contributes to law and development. Chapter 2, by Anne Marie Goetz, titled “Gender Justice, Citizenship, and Entitlements”, is about the understanding of gender justice in the context of citizenship, entitlement, rights, law, and development. The second part provides the context of the struggle for gender justice and citizenship, and presents four regional perspectives. Chapter 3 discusses the importance of gender justice in Latin America and the Caribbean based on the review of scholars, policies adopted by the states, and advocacy literature. The author states that there are three characteristics shared by women in their struggle for equal rights across the regions; the first is the demand of gender justice, the second is reworking the ideas of ‘active citizenship’, and the third is an understanding of citizenship. Chapter 4, titled “Challenging the Liberal Subject: Law and Gender Justice in South Asia” by Ratna Kapur, presents the key literature in the area of gender justice and violence against women. He analyses the practice of citizenship rights that have emerged in South Asia through the colonial regime and taken shape in the post- colonial era of nation states. Chapter 5 presents an overview of gender justice, citizenship, and entitlement in Sub-Saharan region. The author emphasises the adoption of a neutral definition like “empowerment of both men and women” to lead gender mainstreaming. The author identifies the areas where the rights of women are denied. The “Unequal Citizen” issue in Middle East and North Africa, by Mounira Maya Charrad, defines gender justice. It discusses whether that the state reform towards gender equality depends on the state power as autonomous or as derived from a particular group of society. The third part highlights polices and steps to be taken by the governments and organisations on the strategic issues of gender and citizenship rights. The last chapter, titled “Situating Gender and Citizenship in Development Debates: Towards a Strategy” emphasises new areas of research, which are missing in the theoretical framework, and explores how public polices can best be used to empower all citizens. (Henna Iftikhar)

Phillip Anderson and Eriko Togo. Managing Public Debt: From Diagnostics to Reform Implementation. Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank. 2007. 120 pages. Softbound. Price not given. High-quality public debt management is very important as it reduces the developing countries’ vulnerability to financial crises. Good management of debt covers effective debt management strategies, risk and cash management, coordination with fiscal and monetary policies, good governance, and adequate staff capacity. In this connection a developed domestic government debt market is required for effective implementation of debt management strategies. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sought to extend their assistance to improve debt management by a joint pilot programme in 2002. Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Croatia, Kenya, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Zambia are the twelve economically and geographically diverse participating countries in this programme. To assess the experience of this programme, implemented in pilot countries, the findings in this volume are grouped in five categories. An explicit public debt management strategy puts into operation the overall objectives for debt management and manages the composition of debt through a medium- term framework. It involves the management of trade-offs between expected costs and risk in the government debt portfolio. In the case of pilot countries, the lack of an overall explicit strategy based on thorough analysis has been limiting. A more general strategy is better for these countries as they face funding choices with highly concessional borrowing. However, harder targets may be preferable for some risks. The borrowing requirement is determined by fiscal policy and it is the main influence on the stock of debt over time. Thus sound framework for fiscal policy is needed for improving public debt management. Coordination between debt management and monetary policy is also important mainly in countries where domestic debt market is less developed. A conflict between debt management and monetary policy arises when the central bank takes the role of managing public debt. Poor coordination with cash management also hampers efficient debt management. In the experience with pilot countries, the timing of borrowing was seen to be determined by government’s cash flow needs due to the lack of active cash management. To improve this unpredictability that hinders better debt management, reform efforts are needed in areas of budget execution and cash management. Thus the lack of coordination of debt management with other policies in several pilot countries showed that reforming debt management alone is not successful. The governance structure supporting public debt management should set down clear responsibilities for the institutions involved. (Nadia Zakir)

Pervez A. Shami and Kh. Sabir Hussain. Elementary Education in Pakistan. Islamabad: National Book Foundation. 2006. Softbound. Price not given. Education provides the base for socio-economic development. An educational system of poor quality may be one of the major reasons for the lack of growth in poor countries. In Pakistan, the quality of education is on the decline in spite of the fact that the government has initiated measures for raising the quality and quantity of education. This book is divided into twelve chapters that cover various aspects of the education challenge in this country. It is generally recognised that a low net participation rate of 52 percent at the primary school combined with 45 percent dropouts in the public sector is bad. Net enrolment at the primary level is around 12 million (male 7.6 million, female 4.3 million). In order to achieve the target of universal primary education (UPE) for males by 2010, all the male children of primary age group, i.e., 9.6 million will be enrolled; in the case of females, all 8.5 million will be enrolled by 2015. Total enrolment would be 19.5 million in 2015. Nearly 50 million Pakistanis, half the adult population, cannot read. Female literacy (approximately 42 percent) is much lower than male literacy (approximately 65 percent); this disparity is more pronounced in rural areas, where 31 percent of women are literate. This book contains subtotal data on education, but the quality of education and of teaching remain the major topics of future inquiry. (Usman Ahmed)

Usman Ahmed, Saddam Akber Abbasi, Muhammad Javid, Nadia Zakir, Umaima Arif, Henna Iftikhar