Title

Contemporary Fault lines in Applied Economic Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-19-2013

Abstract

A widely-cited social cost-benefit analysis conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research projected net benefits from the POSCO steel project in Odisha. Yet, a close examination of the report suggests a flawed methodology and inexplicable changes in assumptions. As a result, the two primary benefits claimed for the POSCO project - employment and revenues to the state - seem to be grossly incorrect. The privatisation of base data used in some of the projections not only makes the task of verification arduous, but also puts it beyond the reach of democratic oversight. The issues in applied economic research in this case can be seen as symptomatic of structural problems in neo-liberal policymaking.