HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE METHODS Historical Method Meaning and Sources of Historical Evidence (1) Historical method may be considered

as a particular case of the method of induction. Research, based on historical method, is generally empirical in nature, since historical method uses historical evidence as the basis of generalizations; and historical evidence is a kind of empirical or experiential evidence.

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Historical method uses historical evidence to draw inferences about the past. Historical method requires a very high degree of expertise, experience and capability to extract inferences or formulate generalizations from historical evidence; while excavation of evidence from the historical sources for research is also a complex task and specialized job. These sources may comprise written records about (i) Government and Organizations/institutions; (ii) People, their institutions, values, customs and ways of living. Karl Poper has suggested that „one may seek to know the views of other thinkers in the past, who might have studied the given problem along with its causes and solutions: Among the many methods, which the researcher may use, depending on the problem in hand, one method seems to me worth mentioning. It is a variant of the (at present unfashionable) historical method. It consists simply in trying to find out what other people have thought and said about the problem in hand: why they had to face it, how they formulated it, how they tried to solve it. This seems to me important because it is part of the general method of rational discussion. If we ignore what other people are thinking, or have thought in the past, then rational discussion must come

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to an end, though each of us may go on happily talking to himself‟. (Popper, Karl R., pp. 16 - 17). Inclusion of the review of literature as a part of a dissertation performs precisely this task now a days. (iii) Events, which may be political, social or economic; (iv) Literary, religious and other social works. Literature is supposed to be a mirror image of the society. For example, Paintings of kings with huble-buble in hand sitting with the beautiful queen, half dressed palanquin carriers, furnishings. For example, „Hard Times‟ of Oscar Wilde provides a graphic and vivid description of the socioeconomic conditions of living and the nature of British educational system of those times; (v) Biographical accounts of great men such as Babar Nama, „Aiyne Akabri‟ and „My Experiments with Truth‟ (M. K. Gandhi) furnish extremely useful source material that reflect the particular periods of history they relate to; (vi) Visitors‟ travelogues. Chinese travellors, who visited India and recorded their observations in writing, constitute a valueable source of history of that period; (vii) Even Personal Letters. For example, Macculay‟s letters to his father about the objectives of English Education in India and its envisaged impact on Indians, and Nehru‟s “A Father‟s Letters to his Daughter” throw light on several aspects of the subjects that have been covered by the respective authors of these letters; and (viii) There are Archaeological finds, historical monuments, rock and other paintings, and the artefacts kept in museums which may be used as source material. For example, Archaeological finds constitute the basis of reconstruction of history of Harapa and Mohanjodaro. Historians have developed a method, known as historiography, to analyse the historical evidence. Historiography may, however, consist of varied approaches and methods to study the historical facts. In India, historiography dates back to the published accounts of Chinese travellors Huan Suang and Fai Hahn. India was considered to be the more developed state by Al Baruni, an Arab Scholar, in his Tarikh – E-Hind (An Enquiry into India) in 11th century A.D.. These have been

used as the source material by historians for evolving the history of those periods. Alternative Views There are, however, two views about history as a source material: „History never repeats itself‟. „History is experience‟, and according to Oscar Wilde, „experience is the name men give to their mistakes‟. Men seldom like to repeat the same mistakes. It implies that the individuals, communities and even the nations learn from history. Therefore, „history seldom repeats itself‟‟. The contrary view is that history tends to repeat. It gives the pattern from which regularities may be etected. History is the story of time which moves in a continuum which incorporates uniformities and distinguishes these from divergences from the pattern. However, the mistakes are committed by the generation of the given historical past, whereas history, if it repeats itself, repeats in the present or future. The future/present or current generation(s) may or may not know and learn from the historical mistakes. History may, therefore, repeat itself. But history comprises of both positive and negative experiences, facts and factors and their outcomes; and both these types of evidence may furnish source material to be used by historical method for research. Functions of History The discussion and explanation of the basic functions of history and their nature may help us in understanding the usefulness of the historical method in research. History, in fact, may also comprise of statements of specific but concrete facts. These statements may furnish a pen portrait of what the phenomenon under observation had been, what distinguishing features and operational aspects had characterised the observed phenomena so as to show as to how these phenomena differed from their earlier „states‟, what changes had been registered during the period under scrutiny and what new phenomenon had emerged, why and how a given phenomenon had emerged the way it had. History describes various phenomena existing at any given period in the past; and it also traces the actual progress made by these phenomena over successive periods. In this process, history delineates and highlights the broad contours of the path of movement of the systems, their institutions, organisational

structures, events, people and their behavioural modes, culture and values that are embodied or associated with the phenomena under study. Chanakya‟s Arthshastra describes administrative structure. Naturally, the tracing of movement indicates the historical progress/growth path that has had been traversed through time, indicating the highs and lows, peaks and troughs, strengths and weaknesses, and errors and error free decisions and the concequences that emanated from these decisions. Besides the above basic function, history may also perform the following three specific functions: (i) Scientific knowledge may comprise of several conclusions and inferences that have been arrived at solely by deductive logic without any support of historical or contemporary evidence/facts. Such conclusions may either be illustrated or even tested and verified with the help of historical evidence or facts; (ii) Each concept and theory has a limited capability and range of applicability to real life situations. If, however, there is no empirical evidence available to test the validity and/or applicability of the theory, historical facts shall be quite handy and such limits to applications may be determined and/or demonstrated by applying these concepts and theory to historical facts. This testing or verification of the concepts or theory against historical evidence may avert the need for contrived experimentation and/or the generation of hypothetical evidence for such purposes. Since the only alternative to this will be leaving the theories and concepts untested and/or unverified, the importance of historical evidence and its use by historical method is immense; and (iii) Historical facts furnish an opportunity to directly establish or discern theoretical postulates. Historical facts embody very comprehensive evidence and some times even much more, which may be used to draw general inferences. For example, a detailed perusal of the history of famines in India during eighteenth and nineteeth centuries may highlight the (a) periodicity of the occurance of the famines which will reveal the average duration of time period of the gap between any two famines; (b) the internsity of various famines; and (c) nature and extent of consequences of the famines; and one may also use the historical method and historical evidence to investigate the causes of famines. The theorists and analysts have to excavate and extricate scientific knowledge from the historical facts. They have to discern, detect and discover the uniformities, consistent and persistent pattern(s) and

trend(s) that are embodied in the historical changes. This task can be performed efficiently and effectively by historical method. The uniformity, pattern(s) and trend(s), associated with the historical changes, that embody the causal interpretrations, constitute scientific knowledge. But the analytical thrusts, intuitive insights, logic and imaginative speculation and hunches, entailed in the approach to the historical facts, may be needed to unearth the scientific knowledge encompassed by and entrapped in history. History and historical facts may also comprise of simple narration and description of the events, persons, systems, organisations and structures. The theorists‟ creativity will bring the underlying uniformities, trends and patterns out of such narratives to portray the interrelations that connect one with another fact or phenomenon. As against history and historical facts, theory endeavours to determine the nature, direction and magnitude involved in the causal relations. Scientific knowledge seeks to identify the causes of the given consequences, or to predict the consequences of the given causes. Naturally, scientific knowledge is mostly theoretical in nature and orientation. Historical method may be of some assistance to accomplish the task of formulating not only descriptive but explanatory and predictive generalisations or principles also. Historical facts may pertain to numerous phenomena. Historical facts may, therefore, be vast, quite diverse and different, as these may relate to economic, social, political, organisational, cultural and policy and value oriented phenomena. Then, certain facts may relate to totally disjoint and disconnected phenomena, some may pertain to uni-directionally or hierarchically/sequentially related phenomena, whereas some facts may be characterised by bi or even multidirectional relations. Theoretical investigations generally focus on the determination of uniformity in joint existence and/or sequencing in the interrelated phenomena. But the uniformity may portrude itself in the consistent and persistent pattern and or trend embodied in the temporal movements of the given system/ phenomenon/phenomena even though these may be embodied in disjoint and/or scattered facts. Historical method may use such evidence to draw generalisations that may not belong to the category of causal relations. Historical method may, therefore, be used to supplement and even supplant other methods of research.

As the systems/nations/economies/communities move along the historical path. if the historical evidence is carefully examined and analysed. these two may assist and complement each other on the one hand. It is obvious that history and theory or scientific knowledge are intimately related to each other. 268269). But the analysts will delve deep to bring out their inner mosaic. that had been traversed. numerous landmarks and watersheds might have been engraved. These generalisations may apparently be simple and even naïve. the „process of industrialization of the Indian economy under the „policy regime of discriminating protection‟ may be „understood and explained properly‟ by (i) the development of such industries as sugar. the impact of trade unionism on the a) growth of Indian economy. reveal or discern these. and these may also control and constrain each other on the other hand (Keynes. abstract in character. pp. Historical method thus relies upon historical facts for highlighting such facets to enrich scientific research. and b) the living conditions of the workers may be adequately gauged and hypothesized.N. and generalisation about industrialisation may be properly conceptualised and propounded by an objective analysis of such historical evidence. „the child of protection‟. The distinguishing characteristic features of industrialisation of India in the colonial period may be better understood and perceived. empirical analysis of theoretical nature may warrant a „general historical study of the gradual development of those phenomena which are made the subject of theoretical enquiry‟ (Keynes). Then. It is the job of the analysts to un-cover. Similarly. which will reveal the fundamental scientific character wrapped in these generalisations.. J. In fact. Common historical generalisations may often facilitate theoretical investigation. Similarly. Their development may be compared either with the development of the same industries before the adoption of the policy of protection or after the end of the policy of protection or both. the impact of Second World War on the rapid growth of Indian industries may be discerned by a careful evaluation of the momentum gained by the development of Indian industries during the war period in comparison to the growth recorded in all the preceding periods. For example. This approach is mostly useful in cases where the enquiry is not purely deductive. and hence. if the general conditions of the econmy and the different policy regimes are brought under sharp .

inadequate private capital. consistent and persistent pattern or trend that will afford general propositions of one genre. one may compare the degree and direction of professionalization of management and its impact on family owned business in India before and after the abolition of managing agency system. technology. specially industrilisation and diversification of Indian economy during the colonial regime and the five decades (1951-1990) of twentieth century of independent India may enable one to formulate the generalisation about the role of government in general and public sector in particular in the initial stages of development of a developing economy like the Indian one. whereas the striking difference(s) shall force postulates and hypotheses of another type. (ii) a comparison of the states of (a) the same given entity. For example. food deficit and foreign exchange constraint on the one hand. and/or (b) two different entities in the same given period or even in two different periods may also be performed. a comparison of the momentum of growth. having no enterprise. These narrations and descriptions may also provide (a) an explanation to understand as to what the phenomenon/phenomena under study was/were. and/or striking differences or contrasting features/facets of the phenomenon/system under study. Both types of comparisons of historical evidence are an important ingredient of the historical method. if any.) Similarly. specially the far and wide diffusion of bank branches over widely scattered space before and after the nationalisation of private commercial banks in India to evaluate the .analytical focus in relation to employment and employees during the different phases and stages of the history of trade unionism in India. say economy/industry/business of a nation in two different periods. One may also compare the growth of banking industry. N. and (b) a detailed account of the mode/mechanism of the operations of the systems(s) or organisation(s) to explain how did it function. and the constraining influence of the colonisation on Indian economy on the other. therefore.These comparisons will enable the investigator to note and highlight the similarities. obvious that the historical method may use the historical facts to furnish (i) a simple narration of events or occurrences and a straight forward description of the features that characterise the observed phenomenon/phenomena. 1991. This comparison may also lead to the verification and validation of the first ever theory of under development that was enunciated by Dada Bhai Naoroji (Also See Mathur. Similarities will highlight the uniformity. It is. P.

But repetition of history may partly be based on the deliberate or other-wise imitation of the path traversed in the past. It is probable that such theories/laws have been developed purely deductively but the same have subsequently been verified and validated by concrete evidence. their organisations. the concept of disguised un-employment in agriculture and its elimination in North-Western green revolution zone of India may provide evidence to support the thesis that either (i) large scale transfer of labour from agriculture to tertiary and secondary sectors of the economy in order to substantially reduce the supply pool. these laws and theories must have some real life phenomenon as their parallels or counterparts. be grouped into three categories: theories established by (i) purely deductive logic. however.impact of nationalisation. have also been based on an incisive analysis of historical data of 90 and 114 countries of the world respectively. and concrete laws and principles that may be illustrated and explained with empirical evidence or experience. Use of historical evidence has. been posited and formulated on the basis of discerning. the last strand is highly theoretical in nature. J. The method is. these might have been enunciated inductively either on the basis of historical or other empirical. or to understand why does one phenomenon impact the other either sequentially or why do the two phenomena or variables move co-jointly? Naturally. If. For example. A comparison of growth of the Chinese and Indian economies since 1951 may furnish some useful generalisation about the development of the developing economies. N. in fact. then the usefulness of historical method will be greatly reduced and it will become similar to case study method. There may also be cases where the main reliance is placed on historical generalizations (Cf. Historical Evidence As the Base for Theorising. it is assumed that history will seldom repeat itself. or (ii) raising substantially the demand for wage labour to eliminate the dependence on family . Keynes. deductively formulated abstract theories may also be classified into two broad categories: highly abstract and purely theoretical in nature. groups of people/communities and even cultures may also provide historical evidence as the base for historical method to theorise. regarding the growth of educational expenditure. Prakash‟s two laws. more of inductive than deductive character. experiential or experimental evidence/observations. These laws and theories have. Then. whereas the first two are empirical and applied in character. These studies have implicitly assumed that history will repeat itself. and (iii) a combination of deductive reasoning and historical method and empirical evidence furnished by history. Theories may. and hence. pp. however. Thus. 269-70). This obviously will involve deeper understanding and analysis to unravel the interconnection(s) that relates one to another phenomenon. however. Similarly. or through corporate marketing strategy to overcome deficiency of demand may be understood better if the historical evidence regarding the process(s) and mechanism of recovery from the grip of recessionary phases is thoroughly analysed with the help of experience or evidence. having the descriptive as well as analytical and interpretive thrusts. such comparisons on the basis of historical evidence endow the historical method with the thrust of both the comparative and inductive methods. the causes or the factors that shaped and conditioned the phenomenon to be in the given state is another investigative facet of historical method. Similarly. however. (ii) pure induction based on historical facts or other evidence. are based explicitly on the historical growth path of nations. Alternatively. For example. led to the formulation of some important theories about growth and development. Testing and Varification of Hypothesis Historical path traversed by nations. help in several types of investigations. therefore. that educational expenditure grows in arithmetical progression and literacy rate grows in geometrical progression. Interestingly. the efficacy and effectiveness of raising effective demand through stimulating consumption expenditure and investment through policy intervention at the macro level. Rostow‟s theory of stages of growth and Prakash‟s life cycle hypothesis. (iv) historical evidence may be used to explain why did the phenomenon exist the way it was. detecting and confirming the uniformities by deductive reasoning on a vast and complex convass that the massive historical data embodied. Historical method may.

however. historical method and historical facts. The Malthusian theory of population. constructs and postulations/theories may appear to be. Rostow‟s theory of stages of growth and the concept of Take-Off are the theories derived from the combined use of deductive reasoning. society or polity. For example. specially in the illustration and verification of the deductive and abstract theories. constant wage share hypothesis and the theory regarding determinants of productivity and its relation with factor rewards. consistency of logic with the premises and/or assumptions and empirical evidence. be noted that the plausibility of the inference and cogency of reasoning. Historical evidence and historical method may play an extremely prominent role in such cases. There is no substitute for the knowledge. The usefulness of historical method and historical evidence naturally depends upon their proper utilisation by the researchers. It may. explain and even predict the real life phenomena or experiences. historical method and historical evidence may play an important part in research. This historical evidence will reflect the validity of Prakash‟s thesis that the genesis of inflation in India is not monetary. prices are not reduced but various marketing strategies are adopted by the corporate world to stimulate demand rather than to reduce the product prices will validate the thesis. Historical evidence from recessionary phases. This feature warrants that. The basic objective of abstraction from the complexities of the real world of business in order to hypothesize or theorize on an abstract plane is to understand. As against this. when despite deficient demand. testability and even fallibility of theory are the basic characteristics of scientific knowledge. Research based on historical method is generally empirical in nature since historical method uses historical evidence as the basis of generalisation and historical evidence is a kind of . theories of trade cycles. Meaning and Sources of Evidence Historical method may be considered as a particular case of the method of induction. if bumper crops of foodgrains have been harvested. industry. the nature and direction of relationship between the quantity of money and general price level may best be illustrated by the experiences of Indian economy in mid-fifties and early seventies.labour for cultivation holds the key to the solution of this serious problem. One may also like to know the relevance of historical method and historical evidence to know the theories that have been (a) propounded by historical method on the basis of historical evidence through the detection and discerning of uniform patterns and trends in the phenomena relating to economy. inflation emanates initially from the foodgrain sector and then it percolates to the rest of the sectors of the economy. In this context. abstract and hypothetical the concepts. their relevance and applicability to given cases within stipulated qualifications and limitations can best be understood by practical illustrations of empirical nature. The evidence does not conform to the relationship embodied in the monetary theory. skills and intuitive insights of the investigator. and/or (b) confirmed and verified. The theory of progressive taxation and impact of progressive taxation on welfare. The monetarists‟ contention that fiscal deficits have been the main cause of inflation in India may easily be refuted if one arranges data relating to fiscal deficits and general price level since 1950-51 to say 2001. The following may be cited among the important contribution made on the basis of historical method. general prices have increased substantially despite stationary and low fiscal deficits in the years of crop failures. Then. modified or extended or critised and/or rejected by historical method on the basis of historical evidence. effectiveness of incentive schemes in the promotion of sales may be cited as illustrations where the analysts have used historical method and relied directly on historical evidence to draw the inferences. business. Historical evidence may also be used to illustrate the „basic thrust of the fix price theory that these prices do not change in response to demand but these are governed by long run average cost‟. howsoever deductive. one may observe that many years of rising and high fiscal deficits have been accompanied by price stability or even declines in general prices.

These statements may furnish a pen portrait of what the phenomenon under observation had been. customs and ways of living. Literature is supposed to be a mirror image of the society. however. For example. India was considered to be the more developed state by Al Beruni.D. But history comprises of both the positive and negative experiences. events. These have been used as the source material by historians for evolving the history of those periods. communities and even the nations learn from history. For example. For example Macculay‟s letters to his father about the objectives of English Education in India and its envisaged impact on Indians. (v) biographical accounts of great men such as Babar Nama. Historical method requires a very high degree of expertise. and Nehru‟s “A Father‟s Letters to his Daughter” throw light on several aspects of the subjects that have been covered by the respective authors of these letters. religious and other social works. „experience is the name men give to their mistakes‟. consist of varied approaches and methods to study the historical facts. (iv) literary. and both these may furnish source material to be used by historical method for research. the mistakes are committed by the generation of the given historical past. (vii) even personal letters. facts and factors and their outcomes. Historiography may. Archaeological finds constitute the basis of reconstruction of history of Harapa and Mohanjodaro. and (vi) visitors‟ travelogues. „history seldom repeats itself‟‟. values. and the artefacts kept in museums which may be used as source material. „Aiyne Akabri‟ and „My Experiments with Truth‟ (M. repeats in the present or future. whereas history. and according to Oscar Wilde. if it repeats itself. known as historiography. their institutions. in his Tarikh – E-Hind (An Enquiry into India) in 11th century A. and (viii) there are Archaeological finds.empirical or experiential evidence. History may. what distinguishing features and operational aspects had characterised the observed phenomena so as to show as to how these phenomena differed from their earlier „states‟ and what changes had been registered during the period under scrutiny. Naturally. „History is experience‟. These sources may comprise of written records about (i) government and organisations/institutions. Functions of History The discussion and explanation of the basic functions of history and their nature may help us in understanding the usefulness of the historical method in research. historical monuments. historiography dates back to the published accounts of Chinese travellors Huan Suang and Fai Hahn. Gandhi) furnish extremely useful source material that reflect the particular periods of history they relate to. K. an Arab Scholar. culture and values that are embodied or associated with the phenomena under study. Therefore. history delineates and highlights the broad contours of the movement of the systems. organisational structures. people and their behavioural modes. who visited India and recorded their observations in writing constitute a valueable source of history of that period. In India. (ii) people. History describes various phenomena existing at any given period in the past. repeat itself. rock and other paintings. the tracing of movement indicates the historical progress/growth path that has had been traversed through time. However. History. experience and capability to extract inferences or formulate generalisations from historical evidence. Chinese travellors. comprises of statements of specific but concrete facts. „Hard Times‟ of Twist oscar wilde provides a graphic and vivid description of the socioeconomic conditions of living and the nature of British educational system of those times. however. Men seldom like to repeat the same mistakes. It implies that the individuals. and it also traces the actual progress made by these phenomena over successive periods. Historians have developed a method. social or economic. (iii) events which may be political. while excavation of evidence from the historical sources for research is also a complex task. in fact. therefore. There are. indicating the highs and . to analyse the historical evidence. two views about history as a source material: „History never repeats itself‟. The future/present or current generation(s) may or may not learn from the historical mistakes. In this process.. their institutions.

Then. Historical method may. Historical facts may. This testing or verification of the concepts or theory against historical evidence may avert the need for contrived experimentation and/or the generation of hypothetical evidence for such purposes. But the analytical thrusts. cultural and policy and value oriented phenomena. This task can be performed efficiently and effectively by historical method. that had been traversed. organisations and structures. (ii) Each concept and theory has a limited capability and range of applicability to real life situations. theory endeavours to determine the nature. certain facts may relate to totally disjoint and disconnected phenomena. The uniformity. Historical facts may pertain to numerous phenomena. Historical method may be of some assistance to accomplish this task. detect and discover the uniformities. History and historical facts may also comprise of simple narration and description of the events. be used to supplement and even supplant other methods of research. be vast. the importance of historical evidence and its use by historical method is immense. organisational. trends and patterns out of such narratives to portray the interrelations that connect one with another fact or phenomenon. Such conclusions may either be illustrated or even tested and verified with the help of historical evidence or facts. political. and imaginative speculation and hunches entailed in the approach to the historical facts may be needed to unearth the scientific knowledge encompassed by and entrapped in history. associated with the historical changes. social. history may also perform the following three specific functions: (i) Scientific knowledge may comprise of several conclusions and inferences that have been arrived at solely by deductive logic without any support of historical or contemporary evidence/facts. there is no empirical evidence available to test the validity and/or applicability of the theory. therefore. persons. however. peaks and troughs. They have to discern. It is the job of the analysts to un-cover reveal or these. some may pertain to uni-directionally or hierarchically/sequentially related phenomena. systems. Theoretical investigations generally focus on the determination of uniformity in joint existence and/or sequencing in the interrelated phenomena. The theorists and analysts have to excavate and extricate scientific knowledge from the historical facts. intuitive insights. strengths and weaknesses. and (iii) Historical facts furnish an opportunity to directly establish or discern theoretical postulates. historical facts shall be quite handy and such limits may be determined and/or demonstrated by applying these concepts and theory to historical facts. consistent and persistent pattern(s) and trend(s) that are embodied in the historical changes. Besides the above basic functions. Naturally. scientific knowledge is mostly theoretical in nature and orientation. Historical facts embody very comprehensive evidence and some times even much more. The theorists‟ creativity will bring the underlying uniformities. As against history and historical facts. If. whereas some facts may be characterised by bi or even multi-directional relations. Scientific knowledge seeks to identify the causes of the given consequences. constitute scientific knowledge. therefore. and errors and error free decisions and the concequences that emanated from these decisions. quite diverse and different.lows. numerous landmarks and watersheds might have been engraved. Historical method may use such evidence to draw generalisation that may not belong to the category of causal relations. But the uniformity may portrude itself in the consistent and persistent pattern and or trend embodied in the temporal movements of the given system/ phenomenon/phenomena and these may be embodied in disjoint and even scattered facts. direction and magnitude involved in the causal relations. Historical method thus relies upon historical facts for . As the systems/nations/economies/communities move along the historical path. or to predict the consequences of the given causes. as these may relate to economic. that are embodied in the causal interpretrations. Since the only alternative to this will be leaving the theories and concepts untested and/or unverified. pattern(s) and trend(s).

. having no enterprise. Common historical generalisations may often facilitate theoretical investigation. specially industrilisation and diversification of Indian economy during the colonial regime and the third and half last quarters/four decades (1951-1990) of twentieth century of independent India may enable one to formulate the generalisation about the role of government in general and public sector in particular in the initial stages of development of a developing economy like the Indian one. therefore. the impact of trade unionism on the a) growth of Indian economy. whereas the striking difference(s) shall force postulates and hypotheses of another type. „the child of protection‟. Both types of comparison of historical evidence is an important ingredient of historical method. these two may assist and complement each other on the one hand. generalisation about industrialisation may be properly conceived and propounded by an objective analysis of such historical evidence. For example. and b) the living conditions of the workers may be adequately gauged and hypothesized if the general conditions of the econmy and the different policy regime are brought under sharp analytical focus in relation to employment and employees. specially far and wide diffusion of bank branches over widely scattered space before and after the nationalisation of private commercial banks in India to evaluate the impact of nationalisation. empirical analysis of theoretical nature may warrant a „general historical study of the gradual development of those phenomena which are made the subject of theoretical enquiry‟ (Keynes). and/or striking differences or contrasting features/facets of the phenomenon/system under study. Their development may be compared either with the development of the same industries before the adoption of the policy of protection or after the end of the policy of protection or both. consistent and persistent pattern or trend that will afford general propositions of one genre. For example. 268-269). The distinguishing characteristic features of industrialisation of India in the colonial period may be better perceived. say economy/industry/business of a nation in two different periods.N. But the analysts will delve deep to bring out their inner mosaic which will reveal the fundamental scientific character wrapped in these generalisations. Similarly. obvious that historical method may use the historical facts to furnish (i) a simple narration of events or occurrences and a straight forward description of the features that characterise the observed phenomenon/phenomena. These narrations and descriptions provide an explanation to understand as to what the phenomenon/phenomena under study was/were. and these may also control and constrain each other on the other hand (Keynes. It is obvious that history and theory or scientific knowledge are intimately related to each other.These comparisons will enable the investigator to note and highlight the similarities. J. Similarities will highlight the uniformity. A comparison of growth of the Chinese and Indian economies since . (ii) a detailed account of the mode/mechanism of the operations of the systems(s) or organisation(s) may be developed to explain how did it function. Then. and the constraining influence of the colonisation on Indian economy on the other. food deficit and foreign exchange constraint on the one hand. if the historical evidence is carefully examined and analysed. the momentum of growth. In fact. One may also compare the growth of banking industry. analysis of the impact of Second World War on the rapid growth of Indian industries may be discerned by a careful evaluation of the momentum gained by the development of Indian industries in compraison to the growth recorded in all the preceding periods. abstract in character. the „process of industrialization of the Indian economy under the „policy regime of discriminating protection‟ may be „understood and explained properly‟ by (i) the development of such industries as sugar. if any. Similarly. (iii) comparison of the states of (a) the same given entity. technology. and/or (b) two different entities in the same given period or even in two different periods may be made. inadequate private capital. Similarly. This approach is mostly useful in cases where the enquiry is not purely deductive. These generalisations may apparently be simple and even naïve. pp. It is. one may compare the degree and direction of professionalization of management and its impact on family owned business in India before and after the abolition of managing agency system.highlighting such facets to enrich scientific research. and hence.

These studies have implicitly assumed that history will repeat itself. however. such comparisons on the basis of historical evidence endow the historical method with the thrust of both comparative and inductive methods. groups of people/communities and even culture may also provide historical base evidence as the base for historical method to theorise. Keynes. therefore. help in several types of investigation. however. theories established by (i) purely deductive logic. regarding the growth of educational expenditure. experiential or experimental evidence/observations. their organisations. Alternatively. been posited and formulated on the basis of discerning. and concrete laws and principles that may be illustrated and explained with empirical evidence or experience. Use of comparison of historical evidence has. Then. (ii) pure induction based on historical facts or other evidence. Historical evidence may also be used to illustrate the „basic thrust of the fix price theory that these . having the descriptive as were as analytical and interpretive thrusts. the concept of disguised un-employment in agriculture and its elimination in green revolution North-Western zone of India may provide evidence to support the thesis that either (i) large scale transfer or labour from agriculture to tertiary and secondary sectors of the economy in order to substantially reduce the supply pool. Historical Evidence As the Base for Theorising Historical path traversed by nations. Rostow‟s theory of stages of growth and Prakash‟s life cycle hypothesis. and (iii) a combination of deductive reasoning and historical method and empirical evidence furnished by history. For example. are based explicitly on the historical growth path of nations. Interestingly. For example. it is assumed that history will seldom repeat itself. then the usefulness of historical method will be greatly reduced and it will become similar to case study method. Similarly. and hence. or through corporate marketing strategy to overcome deficiency of demand may be understood better if the historical evidence regarding the process(s) and mechanism of recovery from the grip of recessionary phases is thoroughly analysed with the help of experience or evidence. There may also be cases where the main reliance is placed on historical generalizations (Cf. have also been based on an incisive analysis of historical data of 90 and 114 countries of the world respectively. Theories may however. led to the formulation of some important theories about growth and development. these might have been enunciated inductively either on the basis of such historical or other empirical. or to understand why does one phenomenon impact the other either sequentially or to move co-jointly? Naturally. in fact. deductively formulated abstract theories may also be classified into two broad categories: highly abstract and purely theoretical in nature. Similarly. But repetition of history shall be based on the deliberate or other-wise imitation of the path traversed in the past. N. This obviously will involve deeper understanding and analysis to unravel the interconnection(s) that relate one to another phenomenon. These laws and theories have. Historical method may. (iv) historical evidence may be used to explain why did the phenomenon exist the way it was. If. pp. the causes or the factors that shaped and conditioned the phenomenon to be in the given state is another investigative facet of historical method. Thus. J. be grouped into three categories. 269-70). that educational expenditure grows in arithmetical progression and literacy rate grows in geometrical progression. or (ii) raising substantially the demand for wage labour to eliminate the dependence on family labour for cultivation holds the key to the solution of this serious problem. The method is. Prakash‟s two laws. whereas the first two are empirical and applied in character.1951 may furnish some useful generalisation about the development of the developing economies. these laws and theories must have some real life phenomenon as their parallels or counterparts. It is probable that such theories/laws have been developed purely deductively but the same have subsequently been verified and validated by concrete evidence. the efficacy and effectiveness of raising effective demand through stimulating consumption expenditure and investment through policy intervention at the macro level. detecting and confirming the uniformities by deductive reasoning on a vast and complex convass that the massive data base embodied. the last strand is highly theoretical in nature. more of inductive than deductive character. however.

industry. References Dada Bhai Naoroji. The Malthusian theory of population. the nature and direction of relationship between the quantity of money and general price level may best be illustrated by the experiences of Indian economy in mid-fifties and early seventies. Then. constant wage share hypothesis and the theory regarding determinants of productivity and its relation with factor rewards. Popper. P. howsoever deductive. The monetarists‟ contention that fiscal deficits have been the main cause of inflation in India may easily be refuted if one arranges data relating to fiscal deficits and general prices level since 1950-51 to say 2001. Kelley. constructs and postulations/theories may appear to be. their relevance and applicability to given cases within stipulated qualifications and limitations can best be understood by practical illustrations of empirical nature. One may like to know the relevance of historical method and historical evidence to know the theories that have been (a) propounded by historical method on the basis of historical evidence through the detection and discerning of uniform patterns and trends in the phenomena relating to economy. historical method and historical facts. This feature warrants that. It may. and/or (b) confirmed and verified. Un – British Rule in India. Keynes. London. modified or extended or critised and/or rejected by historical method on the basis of historical evidence. Rostow‟s theory of stages of growth and the concept of Take-Off are the theories derived from the combined use of deductive reasoning. fourth edition 1917). Ltd. society or polity. skills and intuitive insights of the investigator.. There is no substitute for the knowledge. consistency of logic with the premises and/or assumptions and empirical evidence.. when despite deficient demand. prices are not reduced but various marketing strategies are adopted by the corporate world to stimulate demand rather than to reduce the product prices. (1890) The Scope and Method of Political Economy. be noted that the plansibility and cogency of reasoning. J. (1968) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Hutchinson & Co. London. N. Historical evidence and historical method may play an extremely prominent role in such cases. specially in the illustration and verification of the deductive and abstract theories. Augustus M. effectiveness of incentive schemes in the promotion of sales may be cited as illustrations where the analysts have relied directly on historical evidence to draw the inferences. abstract and hypothetical the concepts. New York (1965 reprint. explain and even predict the real life phenomena or experiences of the business world. The evidence does not conform to the relationship embodied in the theory.prices do not change in response to demand but these are governed by long run average cost‟ may be illustrated by citing historical evidence from recessionary phases. The theory of progressive taxation and impact of progressive taxation on welfare. one may observe that many years of rising and high fiscal deficits have been accompanied by price stability or even declines in general prices if bumper crops of foodgrains have been harvested. . In this context. The usefulness of historical method and historical evidence naturally depends upon their proper utilisation by the researchers. The basic objective of abstraction from the complexities of the real world of business in order to hypothesize or theorize on an abstract plane is to understand.N. testability and even fallibility of theory are the basic characteristics of scientific knowledge. Karl R. business. Macmillan. theories of trade cycles. historical method and historical evidence may play an important part in research. (1991) Why Developing Countries Fail to Develop. Mathur. For example. London. however.

„Three appears to be an inherent gap between the language of theory and research which can never be bridged in a completely satisfactory way. while the Method of Agreement concentrates on similarities. however. There can not be a cause without a consequence or vice versa. Method of Agreement as propounded by J. Malthus. Method of Difference focuses on dissimilarities. and generally. It encompassed assessment of achievements and performance appraisal of a) different times. The method stipulates that „when two or more cases of a given phenomenon have one and only one condition in common. however. operations. Mill. whereas research. the entire phenomenon is difficult to be conceived as one single condition. S.‟ If may. S. then that condition may be regarded as the cause (or effect) of the phenomenon. J.Comparative Method Historical Precedents and Concepts Comparative Method has been known and used since the inception of the quest for and the exploration of knowledge by mankind. and hence artificial. He conceptualized the Method of Difference and Method of Agreement as two distinct strands of the comparative method of research/ analysis. specially empirical research is the workshop of an artisan. Interestingly. It is extremely difficult to demonstrate. and pointer readings. systems and properties. Both these strands may be considered to be complementary parts of the comparative method.‟ Language of theory is an artifact.s Method of Agreement Descriptive Factors No. 2 Therefore. J. A C C B D Z C E   Z Z Method of Difference A A B B C C Z  . Mill had formulated two rather than one method of comparison. both these methods have been conceived to be comparative in nature. One thinks in terms of theoretical language that contains notions such as causes. differentiated between the method of difference and method of agreement as two distinct strands of comparative method. S. J. But this precisely seems to be the postulation of Mill. But one‟s tests or mad in terms of co variations. R. The comparative method had been used by such analysts as T. Both these methods may thus be called the method of comparison. and Milton Friedman also. leave apart prove causality and its direction. S. then there has to be another condition as its consequence (cause). Mill is basically a scientific method of relating a cause to its consequence. 1 No. basic thrust and orientation. The method revolved around the intellectual capabilities of investigators and focused on the evaluation of natural and financial resources. forces. Mill. and b) countries/regions/people. Mill. be added that if there is one condition as a cause (Consequence).

these facets are apt for generalization. J. the uniformity of pattern and the similarity of operational force(s)/factor(s) and the same resultant outcome(s) suggest not only stability but also a genesis linking cause(s) to effect(s). exclusive focus on dissimilarities in outcome(s) or cause(s) misses a vital component of comparative method. and if variable C occurs when observation Z is made and does not occur when observation Z is not made. Thus. while in other cases. is similar but the means/ mechanisms or factors of development have been different. shaping and guiding operations. while the spatial entity or phenomenon under consideration may be the same. that is. In some cases. include the evaluation of similarities in either outcome(s) or cause(s) also under the method of comparison. it is the presence and absence of the specific cause in two states/spatial units/time periods that the observed outcome/consequence tends to be attributed by comparative method. Political Scientists and Sociologists on the other. employment of comparative method needs two or more entities/phenomena that relate . a constant of the system. The differential effect(s) of different treatment. S. development. there is evidence of causal relationship between C and Z. a large number of countries have developed economically through industrialization. Within the broad comparative framework several methods and techniques have been developed for conducting such studies by the Statisticians and Econometricians on the one hand. We may. the same/ similar forces may lead to different outcomes. and in one of them observation Z can be made while in another it can not be. since its focus is on dissimilarity in one vital aspect. or outcome(s) of the causative factor(s) in operation under specified circumstances or cases. This is what Mill‟s method of agreement may also converge to. For example. However. Comparative method may also treat time as a variable. if in a stationary state. difference in the treatment of different groups/blocks is considered comparatively in order to impute the difference in outcome to the treatment as the cause. therefore. Comparative method has very extensively been used in country comparisons also. time frame of analysis is constant but the spatial units/ entities/ phenomena are different. This obviously is the definition of the method of difference. operation(s) of the same/similar forces over a period of time lead to the same/similar outcome(s). whereas several countries moved from less to more developed stages through agricultural development. then it can be asserted that there is a causal relationship between C and Z‟ (Goode & Halt). and Economists. In both the cases. Thus. Prakash. the dissimilarities/ similarities may relate either to a causative factor (s)/ condition. Naturally. Temporal and spatial (country) comparisons in such studies have been based on the use of comparative method (Teune. having similarity in all respects except the difference of treatment applied. have generally been analyzed statistically for long by statisticians for evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of such treatment(s). 2001). Z Negative principle of Agreement states that if absence of C is associated with the absence of Z. Mill has defined comparative method as follows: Presence of some condition in one and its absence in another state/ entity and attribution of differential outcome to this specific factor/condition is the essence of comparative method. Effects of two different treatments or operational conditions or blocks also furnish the basic essence of the comparative method of difference. For example. the same/ similar outcomes may result from different factor(s). Country comparisons. specially with reference to national development in the post second war period. In statistical analysis. applied to different units/blocks at the same time and place. have been very popular among the development economists. 1995. „If there are two or more cases. the outcome of change. Both types of cases offer an opportunity for the application of the comparative method. In some cases.

States in these economies rather than being the initiators or controller of change have now been shifted to being the manager of change. even the Indian and Chinese economies have developed more rapidly in eighties and nineties than during the pre-reform period from fifties to seventies. Besides. Alternatively. iii) classification/ categorization of cases with the help of detection of similarities/dissimilarities and fixing the same into appropriate or inappropriate boxes for comparison. If the same causative factor(s)/force(s) operate in the same way to lead to the same outcome(s) through time or across space. The method may. and the difference may relate to a given factor/ variable that operates in two distinct states/ conditions.179).S. The essence of the method of difference is the „comparison of two instances. Mill called the ‘Method of Difference’. Keynes opines that the experiment may lie at the base of the method of difference. The instances chosen for comparison constitute the evidence. controlled and centrally planned economies. Milton Friedman. the countries that opened up and shifted from controlled to private enterprise based market economies. though the method may also be based on a combination of the historical evidence with experimentation or experience (Keynes. Comparative method is. 1843). therefore. J. p. like the Chinese and Indian ones.differences or uniformities either to different points in time or space. This type of comparison may need empirical evidence. Comparative method is also known as the Method of Difference (Mill. The comparison of either the time difference or spatial distance warrants the use of what J. it suggests the possibility of formulation of a law linking the given cause to its specific outcome. while in the other it is absent. iv) identification of causative factor(s) for inclusion or exclusion from . and hence. empirical in nature. inductive in character. and hence. which lagged behind and recorded lower growth rates in the same period. except that in one a certain cause is present. He inferred that the private enterprise oriented and market based economies have had achieved higher levels of development and maintained better standards of living than the state owned. The choice of evidence involves i) identification of the source material. Wide-spectra of applicability and diverse nature of the cases in which the comparative method has furnished the base of analysis manifest the broad convas of this method. Rahul Sanskritayan and Elvin Verrier extensively toured to undertake anthropological study of tribes and they often used the comparative method to highlight the striking difference among the various tribes and communities. basically empirical. all the things but one are similar in two states and then the difference in outcomes is imputed to this one condition which is different. which resemble one another in all material aspects.N. N. be considered essentially as a derivative of the historical. seemingly used comparative method to analyze the contrasting development experience of the countries of Latin America. Empirical Base of Comparative Method Identification and/or conceptualization of the causative factor(s) and/or its outcome is mostly factual. effects of that cause are thus made manifest‟ by the difference that emerges from analysis based on comparison. ii) a careful and detailed appraisal of all aspects comprehensively with a view to narrow down the range of options to choose from. but the operations may lead to different outcomes. In recent times. which he considers to be the only completely adequate method of reasoning from specific experience towards generalization (p 179). therefore. experiential and/or experimental methods. which are similar. J. resulting from exchanges and transactions within a globalised political economy. Africa and Asia and linked the developmental differences to their different political systems/ economies and/or policies. during his extensive tours and prolonged visits to numerous countries. developed more rapidly in post reforms era than the closed economies like the Burmese and Russian ones. It implies that Keynes considers comparative method to be the essence of induction provided that the criterion is agreement rather than the difference. irrespective of time-space location of operation.

characterized by equality. specially those pertaining to institutional set-up and organizational structure upon which hinges the system‟s operations. Naturally. Determination of this distance is ideally required to move the actual towards the desired. Countries in similar situation can benefit more from such already tested ideas as a „policy patented‟ elsewhere. or/and b) highlighting the basic features of the system(s) and or its given operations. Most of the social theory. This warrants answers to twin questions: why does distance between the two exist and how could distance/ difference be reduced/ eliminated? Thus. „what it ought to be‟ inevitably involves the „delineation of what it is‟. and c) forging of organic link between the cause and consequence. erroneous to test the . The „state in which the phenomenon is desired to be‟ relates to the „approval and acceptance of some norm or standard‟. As against the positive science. specially economic theory. It is the norm/standard which the actual is compared with. it refers to the „desired state‟. Popper. Positive social science focuses on the nature and degree of relationship between the cause and its effect. Positive social sciences accept the assumptions. be as valid or relevant as the assumptions. Hicks. the normative gets enmeshed in positive. 1933). In my view. They have naturally taken the institutional set up and organizational structure of American and European capitalism as the given of the system of theorizing. is supposed to need testing and verification. having already succeeded in a different context. testing and verification of both theory and its assumptions are warranted for ascertaining the validity and relevance. But theories are erected on the foundation furnished by the given set of assumptions needed for a) transformation of complex into simple. 1968). The causal relation.comparable cases. Vital assumptions of most of these theories are seldom spelled out. application of analytical apparatus of logic to the evidence for a) deriving inference(s) regarding the outcome(s) of the cause(s). the institutions and problems of England each of his own day. normative science accepts the validity of the causal relation and subjects its assumptions to the testing and verification. who import other assumptions. Joan Robinson also opines that it is „impossible to write out in full all the assumptions that are made in setting up a particular model and that British economist from Ricardo to Keynes. however. b) isolation of the basic/ fundamental causative from secondary or less important cause(s) /factor(s). have been „accustomed to assume as a tacitly accepted background. whereas the positive part highlights „what a phenomenon is‟. For example. or the identification of cause(s) of the given outcome(s). has been developed by western thinkers. take these for granted without testing and verification. „how it does operate‟. Evaluation of assumptions should precede the application of a theory to any case/situation. Comparison may also aim at evaluating the appropriateness of some action. historical experience of countries like UK and France justified the designing of such political systems as US and Indian constitutional government. Normative part of social sciences thus inevitably uses‟ the comparative method of study. „why it is the way it is‟. fraternity and freedom. a great deal of confusion and argument at cross purpose arises in consequence‟ (See also. based on these assumptions. and (v) finally. Comparative Method and Norm or Standard Normative part of a subject focuses on „what ought to be‟. Such parts of the positive science do use the comparative method of study. or evaluating even the effect or efficacy of something untested. This causal relationship constitutes the theoretical core of the subject. and hence. A deeper analysis may lead to the inferring of the policy implications also. when their works are studied in other climes and other periods by readers. Testing and verification of a theory/principle is considered essential before its final approval and acceptance (Cf. based on democracy. therefore. The comparison of actual with the desired indicates the degree and direction of the distance/difference of actual from the desired norm/standard. It thus focuses on the state of things as these are and the way these operate. Comparison then refers to what the distance/ difference is between what it ought to be and what it actually is. used for its formulation. It is. This is even more important for comparative method. The theory/principle will.

like mine. so as to facilitate the formulation of general propositions or the evolving of a policy or assessment of policy impact. Methodology of science may be defined as the choice and use/application of appropriate principle(s) and method(s) of (i) knowledge generation. (e) variance reducing theoretical schemes. may be tested through the policies of progressive taxation and subsidization of consumption of the poor. Methods of difference and agreement have already been highlighted as two distinct types of comparative method. It shall be extremely difficult to discuss comprehensively all the facets of any given comparative method in all possible detail independently of each typology to which the particular features relate. Then. Besides. But whatever the contents and contexts or focus of comparative analysis. who focuses on the comparison of (a) countries. may facilitate classification of the method into the following typologies/categories: i) Temporaneous Comparative Method. For example. as the standard for comparison. . The process of verification may also need the formulation of policy and its implementation. (b) macro or micro entities. It implies that the accepted norm(s)/standard(s)/ theoretical prediction(s) and their premises together furnish the contents and direction of socio-economic policies. is also characterized by certain level of overlap. But the validity of the assumption. (d) individuals or group of entities. Each typology has specific facets and features. factors governing the change. (d) projection of the West. Popper. processes and operations of the systems. (ii) knowing. A little reflection may reveal that this categorization may be more of an overlapping rather than exclusive type. and/or (iii) predicting the phenomenon(a) under study. that may be statistical or experiential or experimental. What follows in ensuing pages shall dwell on the use of above categories of comparative method and important general propositions thrown up by it. experiment or experience. (c) policies. the prediction of utility theory that transfer of money from the rich to poor through taxation and public expenditure will promote welfare is accepted as true. called change. used as the base of comparative method. such studies have been based on specific evidence. The specific evidence/ experience. Comparative method needs all these for its use and application. while the facts/data constitute the raw materials. iv) Micro Comparative Method. The prediction is based on the assumption that the law of diminishing marginal utility applies to „money‟ also. to compare the actual with theoretical. which shall be explained in the context of this differentiation between one and another type of comparative method. this is in contrast to the categorization that has been conceptualized by Henry Teune. their structures and outcomes. Comparative method has been a part of this methodology in numerous scientific investigations and research studies. This leads to the inference that the poor have greater utility for money than the rich. and (c) quantitative comparisons of states.theory without evaluating first whether its assumptions are satisfied (Cf. It may also be pointed out that Teune‟s categorization. and (f) comparison of development. This part of the positive science is inevitably comparative in essence. 1969). there may also be certain degree of overlap between these two approaches to categorization and classification. The fact is that the comparative method relates either to (a) time or space. that the marginal utility of money is more to the poor than the rich. and v) Policy Evaluation Method. embodied in US perception. and the outcomes resulting from the process. Other typologies of comparative method may be discussed now. Typology of Comparative Method Different strands and streams may be distinguished in order to classify comparative method into different typologies. ii) Spatial Comparative Method. iii) Macro Comparative Method. Testing and verification involves the use of evidence. objective is basically the understanding and explaining change. (b) country groupings. understanding or explaining.

The following three problems with variety. relationship among such variables as wealth and health. Classification may often pose the problem of overlapping. regional income disparities in India and Yugoslavia. at times. then the classification of such Indian states as Kerala and Mizoram in different groups of Indian states and categorization of oil producing Islamic countries in groups of countries shall be problematic (Prakash et. For example. Social scientists adopt the processes of identification and classification for variance reduction and identification of equivalence. requires a careful selection/identification of the entities for comparison. For example. and the change within and across the system. In practice. which implies the movement with reference to space. Then. concepts and theories generally focus on rapidly rather than gradually changing phenomena. while between the groups it is maximized. unobservable unless very long lead times are involved in comparison. therefore. variance reduction arise from inclusion and exclusion of entities/countries in a group: i) It is assumed that the inclusion of an entity/observation in a given category is a significant variety reducer within a group in so far as the variance within is much less than that between the groups. then most of the oil producers will also pose problems in their classification. while biological or mechanical systems focus on balance and equilibrium. Variance Reduction and Classification As the Base of Comparative Method Use of comparative method requires that the comparison is done between comparables. al. Comparison based on equivalence may involve. If literacy and economic development are postulated to move together. Graduality in movement/ displacement may make the change imperceptible. Social systems are associated with structural change. 1996). Categorization is generally based on the use of few specific criteria enunciation of which require care and caution in order to be full proof. revolutionary upheavals. however. the variance within may be more than what it is between the categories/groups. Structure is the hub of socio-politicoeconomic systems. be used as an instrument of variability reduction. and hence. and hence. disasters or replacement of one by another totally different policy. while mechanical/biological systems display equivalence by the equilibrating of change in force. for example. associated with experimentation is involved. prosperity is a pre-condition for democracy. It is important since controlled experiments are difficult to perform in social sciences. and hence. Incomparables can neither be compared nor should they be compared. included in a category. This is the basic principle of classification/categorization. if per capita income is an indicator of development and elections on multi-party system and change of rulers indicate democracy. Minor adaptations/ modifications of policy may make policy comparison . should either have or be capable of acquiring the attributes of other members of the group and be different and vary significantly from those excluded from the group. Various entities in the pool from which selection/identification has to be made may require classification into different categories. then either the development of India has been grossly under estimated or democracy has been totally exaggerated. comparability of entities may require the establishment of equivalence through the reduction of variability. iii) A comparison of attributes or quantitative dimension imputes the properties to countries/ entities that require similarity in patterns among the entities of comparison. If the control. Rapid changes arise either from radical transformation. However. establishment of equivalence. serious difficulties are encountered in accomplishing this task. ambiguity or even mismatch at times. ii) Country/region/ entity. Similarly. now Slovakia are much more marked than income inequality between these two countries.Equivalence. Basic principle is that the variance within the group is minimized. and hence. if economic development. It.. Classification may.

Teuen. and economic systems. v) random or non-random nature of change or events. Mill‟s advocacy of similarity in all/most and difference in one aspect is based on this consideration. ii) total achievement of mankind till date. These constants could be chosen from such parameters as a) human needs. as evolved by Bentham. use of the term „theory‟. imitation of one subject by others has often led to sterility. leading to outcomes that sounded hollow and shallow. For example. adjudication and their implementation in a comparative framework with the articulation of the group interest (See for example. using the method of difference. A Newton or Eienstein to put forward „Social Theory of Change‟ of universal character is. Such parameters have led to the development of some basic theories. It involves care and caution in the choice to avoid the comparison of incomparables. wealth or differential modes. These concepts and categories have been Western in origin and orientation. 1960). c) human development. and iii) human decisions and consequent behaviour into few systematized categories with a view to find identifiable but stable patterns and relationships based on them (Cf. Coleman and Leds. and iii) identification and initiation of measures required for mobilization of support for the policy. have developed „Functional Analysis‟ as the Theoretical Perspective of Variance Reduction. comparative method is similar to the historical method in its orientation. still awaited. „structural/ functional or Parsonian theory‟ was nothing more than the ‟classificational tool‟. or similarity in operational aspects/ conditions with reference to the given cause(s) of a particular phenomenon(na) of study. that focused on the universality of certain constants or parameters of mankind (Czudnowski. rational behaviour and the motivation of . Almond. these could naturally not cope up with the systems that either ideologically ignored the diversity of group interest or deliberately sought to suppress the same. These. The comparative method requires the identification and selection of two or more comparable entities or phenomena for analysis out of all those available as evidence. political. Comparison of policy aims at learning from i) the experience gained from and change brought through the implementation of the given policy. 1993). Anthropologists. Besides.difficult. based on theoretical schemata of variance control within social. The concept of comparability inevitably involves equivalence. This necessitates a general theory of universal character. The comparison can only be between comparables either across time or space. Tuene asserts that neither the universal nature of functions of socio-political. 1975). Ricardo. Comparability may depend upon the similarities in size. do not yield i) relationships as the base for evolving theoretical explanation or prediction. If similarity in all aspects/areas is achieved. the analytical schemata of comparative studies mismatched the empirical reality. iv) opening up or closing of the system. Menger. comparison may converge towards what Mill conceived to be the method of agreement. Limitations of these approaches induced the evolving of an alternative system. and d) core traits of human behaviour such as desire to i) achieve distinction through power. b) human nature. Jevons and Marshall (utility) and Friedman and many other modern economists. however. Consequently. Main objective of variance reduction in social sciences has been to compress i) the entire range of human experience. Adaptation of the same by political scientists made them look at such functions of political system as making rules. For example. in fact. or structure of the entity (ies) of comparison. the longest in the field. Hence. leading to probable negligence of several basic factors. But Tuene has missed the whole of classical and Neo Classical theories of economics as enunciated by Smith.economic systems nor the universal constants succeeded much in variance reduction. since only a few parameters/variables/ traits are generally used for this purpose. From this view point. and iii) relate/associate with others. Malthus and Mill and Neo-classical economics. ii) dominate others. ii) important defining junctures and events associated with that policy. Adoption of Structural/ Functional categories of anthropology by sociology ended up with the study of rituals or other structures of specified functions. economists‟ assumption of the pursuit of „self interest‟. Categorisation often involves biases in grouping.

Micro-effects of macro operations or vice-versa may also be analysed by comparative method. Values. iii) what are the consequences expected to flow from the chosen policy in short and long term?. it is a substantial part of economics. which offer the phenomenon for comparison. v) What specific factors may act as facilitators or . chosen for analysis. But units or their levels within the macro entity of a system/ economy/country. Such generalizations furnish system‟s effects on which to build up some theoretical edifice. 1986). do affect the decisions and resulting operations both directly and indirectly. components and their properties should also be comparable in the initial period.optimization led to the development of the apparatus of classical economics on the one hand. But the meaning is contextual. having colonial background.. and utility school on the other. while the differences in the terminal stage may offer the subject of contrast and comparison. or „Freedom. The defining structures. centralized– decentralized. may be important. Gossen‟s three laws of utility constitute the base of entire demand analysis/consumer behaviour. that are acquired partly from the system. Kuechler. Policy Comparisons Policy comparisons involve such questions as i) why did the government opt for the given position. Equivalence is not only that of size. Friendship and Equality‟ of post French Revolution era arising from the Feudal and Monarchic background. external account imbalance in payments or trade may be highlighted. The identification of equivalence is facilitated by some simplifying assumptions such as that the individuals are differentiated among themselves as well as from the system. or contextual conditions.‟ or „Soviet Planners. explaining something that is system specific such as rapid or slow growth. Tuene suggests the use of the concept of inter-connectivity of system. al. Movement in time from initial to final stage generally brings change in the initial state/status in relation to the final position. Identifying equivalence of the comparable is also made difficult by concurrent change both in time and space. iv) what shall be the means and mechanisms. including pragmatism and flexibility (Cf. Universality of these parameters was embodied in the ideological perspective that was in juxtaposition to the Area Specialists‟ belief in Human Variety‟. attitudes and behavioural propensities. Fraternity. openness or closedness of the system as the cause of its operational facets such as internal imbalances. the base of the edifice of welfare economics. is on the same footing. Importance of contextual frame is also illustrated by the fact that „The per capita income of Indians certainly would have led to early death‟ in other contexts/countries. It is the outcomes or consequences of such facts of the contextual framework as above. The assumption that the marginal utility of money to the poor is greater than that to the rich. or ideology. high deficits. For example. ii) Why did the governments/ systems have acquired the nature they have had? Is it due to the decisive influence of man at the top of decision making? Examples are „SocialistNehru. Textiles and then coal being the leading/ key sector of British growth in eighteenth/ nineteenth centuries are illustrations of macro effect of micro operations. Macro facets of the economy. having Zarist background‟. which changes both with time and space. But the analysis is based on Weber Feschner‟s law of reaction that states that the intensity of reaction declines as the intensity/stock/quantity increases. Equivalence is like the system of variance reduction. „but income does not mean the same‟ in India (Kravis. specially institutional/organizational set up needed and actually associated with the implementation of a given policy or operation of a system. Development determines individual differences. high subsidies. contextual adjustments necessitated by 40 per cent currency fluctuation in 1985 and 20 per cent black economy arise from the differences between the periods or systems. Certain expected differences may be used as the artifacts and instruments of research. et. Teuen dismisses all these by one assertion. 1975).

Such comparison may also be effected for two different countries say India and China in early fifties of the twentieth century. Intended and actual outcome(s) of implementation may also differ a lot. 57-58). Radically different entities or totally dissimilar phenomena do not furnish appropriate unit for comparison. Intra. Then. Prakash (1994.country comparisons also encounter differences in structure. Prakash (1996. . He has compared the regression growth rates of pre and post reform period. c) values. iii) validation of arguments that might have been advanced to support their case. and/or iv) adoption of an alternative to one that has failed to deliver the desired results. b) compilation of evidence. Then. Answers to such questions are important. and iii) prediction about the future state/outcome. when their economies were characterized by almost similar features but they opted to operate with different policies and systems. The choice of phenomenon or entities for comparison need care and caution. Tuene. Analysis of the effect or impact of any given policy or impacts of two different policies have also been the subject of comparative method. Evaluation of policy impact generally focuses on the analysis of outcome(s) and/or achievement(s). country experiences are used by the proponents of a different/new policy to i) indicate such beneficial outcomes as may be expected. 1996) has used the comparative method of analysis for the evaluation of the impact of NEP on Indian economy. judgments/inferences about the superiority/inferiority of systems/policies may also be drawn. Impact of other policies on the given conditions and even on policy under comparison may also cloud the understanding. For example. 1990. d) administrative support base. size effect involved in comparison of GDP of Singapore and India may be neutralized by comparing per caput rather than absolute GDP. Two different policies. Steps in Policy Comparison Policy Comparison comprises of the following steps a) identification and selection of entities or period(s) for comparative study. resulting from the implementation of chosen policy and its programs. b) beliefs. This is accomplished by the identification and evaluation of outcome(s) in the pre policy period and it is then compared with the corresponding state after implementation of the policy. e) popular support or lack of it. 2005) has compared the growth of national and per capita income in pre-independence period with their growth in post independence period. As the fine tuning of policy and the observablity of its outcome(s) requires the lapse of a reasonable time period since inception. since inter-country comparison of policies is mired in a) national polities. the autonomous functioning of the market economy of the British regime compares poorly with the functioning of the post independent planned Indian economy. Besides. c) comparison and contrast between similar or/and dissimilar facets by putting specific aspect/ phenomenon under study in initial and/or terminal stages/states in juxtaposition. Even seemingly dis-joint or indepent policies may either be counter-vailing or mutually reinforcing. For example. several policies may be in operation. the policy decision to hike petrol and diesel prices may run counter to the objective of keeping passenger fares and freight rates low. instruments.obstacles in the formulation as well as implementation of the chosen policy? (Cf. or causal. The two periods are associated with different policy regimes. In the first case. comparison may also require normalization or standardization of the variables used for comparison. complementary/substitutability. institutions and even values and mindset. d) putting the evidence under logical evaluation/analytical examination with a view to offer i) explanation of the state as it obtains. and ii) advantage over current policy. pursued by the same country at two different points in time may also be compared. if possible. and f) conditions of operations. pp. ii) relationships and their nature. the comparison involves two distinct periods rather than two points in time for the evaluation of the impact of policy. the state of the system before the introduction of a given policy is compared with the state of the system after the adoption and implementation of the policy. At any given point in time. For example. For example.

Raina. b) interpret and draw inferences from the same. contents and reach. from one program/project and/or a given set of measures to another. This is a common error committed by social scientists (Bhati. But the unit is the norm/standard for the proportion. while relationships may be deduced for the behaviour/ change in entities of comparison. Both proportions and percentages are relative magnitudes. In several cases. the objective(s) or target(s) may be used as the standard or norm for comparing actual . and v) differential perspectives may provide the base for the espousal of interesting proposition(s). it need not necessarily mean favour to one or discrimination against the other group. Basic Thrust of Comparative Method for Policy Impact The comparative method may attempt to i) Compare and distinguish the perceived from actual state. in fact. structure. These two offer approximation. Outcomes and achievements are naturally expected to differ from one period to another. For proper interpretation of the results. In such cases. Both these measures also render variables/entities free not only from the difference in the unit of measurement but also the scale and/or different nature/dimension of entities measured.Alternatively. and hence. These. 2003. For example. given evidence may be interpreted differently by different scholars. comparison may be misleading. one policy regime to another. Averages may also be used for a) compressing massive data into single figure(s) and comparing magnitudes of two huge/mass of data. Also See. iv) prejudgment. targets and goals. scope and encompassment. It may. Percentage may be used as an alternative of proportion. Sometimes. the change may be inferred from comparison of two or more proportionate values pertaining to two different time periods or entities. and ii) assess the results and outcomes with reference to a priori specified norm(s) or standard(s). while centum is the standard for percentage. Anupama. are pure numbers. estimated to control the scale effect for comparability. if one finds that the candidates with engineering background outnumber graduates with economics/commerce background among the enrollees in business schools. however. But these offer basis for interpretation of data to draw inferences from comparison. Relationships may also be investigated in the comparative framework with reference to form. be noted that. or expert opinion(s). ii) findings of other investigations. unless one has the global proportion/percentage as the reference. one has to compare the proportion of engineering graduates among total admission seekers with the proportion of economics/commerce graduates among the admission seekers to have the global proportion as a point of reference to compare the proportion of engineering and non-engineering graduates among the enrollees. the objective(s)/ target(s) of policy/ planning may be compared with the actual performance/achievement. But the policies generally differ in thrusts and directions. Outcomes of two different policies may also be compared. Comparison of Interpretations Investigational findings from comparison of the given state with respect to i) a priori accepted criterion. degree and direction of interdependence. and even within the same policy regime. a crude rather than precise index for an agglomerate. Amita. These are desirable and inevitable/ essential/ integral instrument of comparative method. The differential interpretations may also provide material for comparison. iii) normal/ideal/ standard condition(s). whereas the programs tend to have differences of focus on varied objectives. A mere comparison of proportions of enrollees with these backgrounds may not furnish the base for right inference. Proportion/Percentage and Average Proportion may be used as a tool for the evaluation of extent/ magnitude and direction of change/ movement. 2004). statement of a policy or program explicitly specifies particular goal(s) and/or target(s) to be realized in the given time frame.

The temporal distance manifests dissimilarity in two states of the entity/phenomenon at different points in time. Events need not necessarily occur in a continuum as these may be a once for all affair also. be abrupt in emanation. desired profile was accepted as the standard with which actual competence and competency profile was compared. and ii) description of the basic feature(s) of two or more states. become history. b) to explain. This may be associated with the defining moment/juncture or epochal event. This approach shall highlight the differential effect and outcome of the differences in policy and a comparison of the performance during the two policy/ planning regimes shall be involved. For example. As time changes. however. Marx‟s conceptualization of the Asiatic Mode of Production envisages the prevalence of a given set of production conditions over at least a limited period of time and through space. the process of change involves temporal distance. As against these. and c) interpret the mechanism of forces to link the same to some general or specific outcome. Rajan (1978) analysed the divergence between the Planned and Actual Agricultural Development of the State of M. used for such evaluation of the impact of plan/policy or planning. however. technology in use. The success or failure is. these (former) assume novelty and uniqueness that may not be replicable. involving specified factor(s)/ force(s) at work through time. the change and/or its resultant outcome is attributed/imputed to temporal distance or the factor(s) in operation that induces change through time. including factor(s) that change the entity or phenomenon. Therefore. political or economic change may. D. iii) Another criterion. Social. Distance in time may furnish the context to highlight the change/difference. a matter of degree rather than it being absolute. time enters as a variable. Defining Junctures and Epochal Events differ from the usual/ mundane or unimportant ones. It shall be useful to note that the Historical Method distinguishes historical laws from historically decisive moment(s) to differentiate between the junctures and historical event(s) on the one hand. Reflection of distance in time may also facilitate i) narration of nature. is to compare the performance/outcome before the adoption of policy with the performance recorded or outcome/result achieved after the adoption of policy. in a recent study of Divergence between the Desired and Actual Capability Profile of HR Mangers of pharmaceutical companies by Prakash and Bhargava (2004). For example. As the entity/ phenomenon and its spatial location remain the same. Similarly. and hence. and the degree and direction of change(s) that has been effected in values of the given variable(s)/factor(s) that reflect the impact of policy on the other. in his Ph. direction and dimension that distance in time has brought about in two states. while the subject of the study remains invariant. The difference in the state of an entity/phenomenon at different points in time may be taken to manifest the outcome of the process of change. Movement away from the point of origin will. mundane/ ordinary events are a common occurrence. Epochal events may often be once for all affairs. thesis. The gap between these two was found to fall in the range of 20 to 67 per cent.P. It also warrants the uniformity of operational mechanism to generate similar outcome/output. Here. P. Temporal Distance Comparative method may also involve comparison of the state of an entity or phenomenon at two or more points in time/period. needing no notice.performance or outcome/result for assessing the success or failure of policy on the one hand. at times. including factor(s) of change of the entity/phenomenon . But the historical process requires continuity and stability of operation in the given milieu. and organizational structure. difference(s). direction and time. spatial distance is assumed to have remained invariant. Concepts and theories/ laws are needed a) to note or observe. Difference in time is assumed to be the proxy of factor(s) and process of change. The targets set to be realized during the planning horizon were used as the fixed Norm/Standard with which actual development was compared. it does not get replaced by another phenomenon/object/entity. Dr. and to differentiate(s) between the historical process and historical conditions on the other. and its effect.

it takes the phenomenon/entity as it is. takes the condition(s) of equilibrium as the norm/standard with which the actual state of the system is compared. These dissimilarities then may form the basis of formulating generic propositions. if the force(s) involved in the process of change could be identified even broadly. Teune. general as well as partial. In such cases. Dissimilarity may either relate to the causative factor(s) or its outcome or even both. The comparative method examines dissimilarities at different ‘temporal’ points’ or distinct ‘spatial entities’ as the basis of analytical comparison. equilibrium. Both time difference and spatial distance have been assumed to lead to dissimilarities or differences in the basic features/behaviour of entities/ phenomena. that may be based on the formulation of propositions of general nature. The comparative method does not assume the state of equilibrium to exist. Both these facets may result in the formulation of some law/ principle/ theory. The comparative method logically evaluates dissimilarities for detecting and discerning the temporal or spatial patterns and/or uniformities that flow from time or spatial distances/ differences. 1990).under study. equilibrium method is also implicitly. whereas the second approach assumes time to be the constant of the system with a view to focus on the repercussions of change in space. The distance in time or temporal pathway traversed is identified as the basic force/factor to have caused the dissimilarity(ies) or difference(s). comparative method may involve a comparison of the state of two or more entities/phenomena with differential locales in space at a given point in time. Dissimilarity means difference and/or contrast. resulting from time-space continuum changing together. In such cases. There is one difference between equilibrium method of analysis and comparative method and that has to be noted. It is probably to keep complexities. Interestingly. In the general equilibrium framework. which allows only one of the two or more factors/ forces to change at a time. The first approach keeps space constant to evaluate the impact of movement/change in time. Alternatively. the differences between two spatial entities may be attributed to distance in space. compare the state of two or more spatial entities at the same point in time. Spatial Distance Alternatively. contrast between dissimilar or desperate conditions/ experiences/ evidences and their outcomes by the detection of uniformities of pattern and/or structure through movement in time and/ or space may throw up generic conclusions. spatial distance is taken to cause the difference(s) or dissimilarity(ies). If the system is in disequilibrium at any point in time or space. away from the analytical framework. Because of the same time location. This is the conventional view of comparative method. time is a constant. Policies or operations/processes may also be compared to . comparative in nature. which shall pose serious challenge to the comprehension of the whole as distinct from the understanding of the part. It is compatible both with the state of equilibrium or disequilibrium. Thus. But the comparison of similar or dissimilar entities or phenomena may be one among several layers of the subject and thrusts of logic used in comparative analysis. The objective may be to use logic and evidence jointly or separately as a procedure to unify the given field of knowledge. derivable from the similarity of experience/ outcome(s) cause(s). one may also. if not explicitly. one keeps time distance constant by undertaking the study of two different states of an entity or two entities/ phenomena at the same given point in time. while the spatial location has remained invariant. and hence. though the conventional view focuses on the comprehension of difference or dissimilarity rather than similarity or uniformity itself (Cf. the assumption of equilibrium will collapse in the absence of comparative framework. Distance between actual location/condition from the equilibrium state manifests the distance and direction required to be traversed to eliminate the gap/distance. if not precisely. both time and space differences may have to be incorporated in the analytical framework. Both these approaches are like the partial equilibrium approach in orientation.

to be defined to distinguish one from another type of change: i) Once for All Change. Difference between b) and c) is that of degree. the production of dissimilarity. or introduction of policy directed change. If the factor(s). or policies. two states of the same entity/unit/phenomenon at two points in time. that determines operational/behavioral outcome. which is characterized by similarity or even uniformity. If outcome remains the same. It is thus a ‘no change’ situation/condition. What is important is not the time difference or spatial distance but the process of change and its outcome that holds the key to comparison or contrast. Static. there are only three possibilities that may characterise available evidence and/or experience: (a) similarities or dissimilarities. it is similarity rather than difference or distance that emerges as the focus of attention. be of various types. or change from its initial state/condition. A stationary state is immune to any change. The stationary state operates in accordance with its own laws and procedure. First. it remains the same. a wide compass of numerous possibilities. Similarity rather than dissimilarity is its hallmark. and hence. One Way or Unidirectional Determining and Causally Determined variables may be distinguished from Mutually Related variables. ii) Autonomously operating exogenous factors that have an impact upon the system but these are not affected themselves by the endogenous variables of the system. or process and/or systems.identify either convergence or divergence of outcomes they may lead to. or entities/phenomena at different spatial locations will not exhibit any difference. or planned replication of some experience. and iii) Deliberately introduced change through contrived experimentation. and iii) Change in a continuum. This may be understood and appreciated better if the distinction between „stationary and static‟ and „static and dynamic‟ states is understood. Their various combinations may involve different configurations. Understanding of these differences is important because human and social changes have generally been based on learning from the willfully contrived . Congruence and convergence relate to tendency or trend rather than homogeneity. conformance is largely a point of agreement. does not change. Obviously. (b) conformance or deviance or dissonance between the systems/ operations and their outcomes. A stationary state does not change from one to another point in time. Comparison may facilitate the identification of one of these possibilities. Typology of change has. their combinations or permutations have been compressed into above 3 broad categories. Stationary and Dynamic States and Comparative Method In my view. This may conform to Mill‟s Method of Agreement. however. therefore. the time difference or spatial distance may be a necessary but not the sufficient condition for generation of dissimilarity(ies). time difference or spatial distance will be neutralized. In a stationary state. In such cases. despite the lapse of time or distance in space. Above three types of change may operate in conjunction with any one of above types of change. Such variables may reflect three types of states/status that arise from interrelations. Change may. After all. we may distinguish independent from dependent variable(s) among the inter-related variables. Stationarity does not admit any change whatsoever. ii) Historically Repeating Change. none of these variables displays any change. and (c) congruent and convergent or totally contrasting and divergent processes and their similar/dissimilar outcomes. Three other types of changes may also be distinguished according to their source of origin: changes emanating from i) autonomously operating factors/forces within the system. Different sets of operational variables/factors and their response(s) to the causative factor(s) may be distinguished on the basis of dissimilarities. Then. that may logically be associated as the most probable outcome/state of the operational factors. As against this.

K. however. Once for all change has unit (one) as its frequency. whose presence in one and absence in another state is assumed to have led to the . Hence. some historians opine that Alexander‟s invasion of India was like a storm that uproots some trees of a forest. the once for all change alters the state only once. Such cases fall within the purview of the method that economists have defined as statics or comparative statics. or outcome of the system‟s operations with a view to formulate general propositions. It also denies the experiences of Fabian experiments. which arose from their specific theoretical moorings. Similarly. Continuity of the ceaseless process of change may tend to make even the observation of change of this nature difficult. Dynamic state is characterized neither by changelessness of the system nor is it associated with cyclical or historically repetitive or once for all change. For example. French Revolution. Once it has occurred. be used to study the dynamic system(s). In case of focus on dissimilarity. Method of comparative statics may. In practice. Hence. But no-one can vouch-safe for infinite time-span. or causative factor(s). Stationary state is not compatible even with such an once for all change. it has to be understood as a definite and finite time horizon in which a particular „once for all change‟ is ruled out to materialize again. are examples of cyclically or historically repeating changes. foreign invasions of India through Sind-Panjab land route. is compatable with change provided that the change is either historically repeating or cyclical in nature. The objective of comparative analysis of similarities is to detect and discern ‘stylised uniformity’ in pattern. end of British rule over India or disintegration and disappearance of Mughal Empire are examples of a once for all change. Invasion of Alexander on India. J. then the system operates in a stable pattern. however. But the system before and after such a change may be compared. which ruled India for quite some time. or prediction of the outcome of a given cause/factor.. Stationary State admits both once for all and periodically repetitive changes. It is like the picture taken by a movie camera (Mehta. the method may encompass both similarities and dissimilarities. whenever Indian polity was in a fragmented and weak state(s) during the medieval period. the objective is again to identify and highlight the systematized cause of a given stylized outcome. The static state. Mohmad Gauri‟s victory over Prithvi Raj Chauhan led to the establishment of the slave dynasty. recurrence of recession in national economies is a repetitive cyclical change. It records the system as it is at an initial and a terminal point in time in order to compare and contrast these two states of the system. None but one variable is allowed to be different for this purpose. Thus. leaving the rest of the forest untouched. Comparative statics is like a photographic representation of ceaselessly changing dynamic system at a moment. As against this. The observance of „Stylised Dissimilarity‟ may be used to propound some law of general nature. its non-recurrence is in an infinite horizon.experiments or experiences and the initiating of change in polity/system/community for the realization of desired outcomes. It rather encompasses change in the continuum of space-time. opines that „the goal of change is learning and taking the benefit out of others‟ experience or experiment rather than testing or creating theory‟ on one‟s own. the dissimilarity is generally associated with one parameter/variable alone. Tuene thus implicitly denies the possibility of policy making either on the basis of theoretical paradigms. If it is endogenous. Periodic crop failures and consequent famines in British India. it may be in-built in the system. Tuene. as distinct from stationary state. In a static state. or large number of countries that were inspired by the success of Soviet Model of Planned Development. Once for all change has off necessity to be exogenous. or on the basis of own experience. what to say of understanding and explaining of the same. This is in contradistinction to the Keynesian interventionist or Friedmanian non-interventionist policies. such change may occur frequently. it shall not recur or repeat itself either in foreseeable time or space. 1959). Historically repeating or cyclical change occurs at some specific/ regular interval of time.

physical and moral. iv) Marshalling of evidence either about similarities or . laws. may also account for differences or dissimilarities. modern economics defines such cases as falling within the purview of comparative statics. associated with either the changeless system or with temporal or spatial changes and their consequences. Steps in Comparative Method and Evidence Comparative method involves i) Conceptualization of the subject of study. however. caused by some exogenous factor or force. structure. and even in consequences most of the times. the method may be defined as comparative dynamics. This is termed static. Incidentally. The changes and consequences thereof. in fact. In the context of protectionist controversy. these are basically endogenous in nature. Mill explained the conditions that are to be satisfied for the application of the method of difference: „If two nations can be found which are alike in all natural advantages and disadvantages. These features of stationary system shall be characterized by similarities in pattern. The distances in space or differences in time may. lies between the stationary and dynamic. Analysis of the process and its time path is the pivot of dynamic method of investigation. the differences of operational modes and mechanisms. iii) Selection of specific aspect/facet/trait as the basic objective of study. For understanding the difference between these two. it may be noted that a stationary system is self-replacing and self sustaining. It is obvious that the cause or consequence of change is the centre piece of comparative method and its analytical framework. If either of these two aspects is included in the analytical framework. These may easily be encompassed within the method of comparative statics. as distinct from the consequence or cause of change or change itself. or both rather than its final outcome(s) within the analytical compass will transform the method from comparative statics into comparative dynamics. and hence. since the process of change and its temporal or spatial path of movement is not an essential component of analysis. these changes are built within the system. the way change occurs and the process of change. ii) Identification and selection of temporal/ spatial units to be investigated and the identification of phenomena for study. or once for all changes in time or space. encompass historically repeating. if one of these nations is found to be rich and the other poor. and institutions are the same in all respects. But the inclusion of either temporal or spatial process of change or differentiation. It shall be much more complex and intricate than the usual comparative method or comparative statics. However. These postulates differ from the position of Teune and several other traditional analysts. Static. however. Some of the above facets of comparative method may be illustrated by the Mill‟s use of it. This may be defined as the dynamic comparative method. It may be development/change/structure/ policy. Comparative Statics is often explained by contrasting it with the stationary state. Method of comparison can naturally focus on these similarities. spontaneous and acquired. except that one of them has a more protective tariff or in other respects interferes more with the freedom of industry. opinions. or the richer than the other. whose habits. this will be an experimentum cruces: a real proof by experience. it does not matter whether change occurs in time or over space. In such cases.emergence of dissimilarity. whose people resemble each other in every quality. A static system/ entity may. or cyclical. though it also stands in contrast to Social/Economic Dynamics. that is. lead to both operational dissimilarities and differential consequences thereof.‟ However. which of the two systems is most favourable to national riches. irrespective of the focus being on similarities or dissimilarities. usages. It reproduces itself from one to another time period and/or from one to another spatial point without change. are neither inbuilt within the system nor are these repetitive or once for all in nature. The static method of comparison “abstains and abstracts from the process of change” in order to focus on the outcome(s) of change or its mechanism.

This points towards the fragility of facts or evidence in the context of logic used and interpretations offered on the one hand. be dubbed empirical and as at least quasi inductive. For example. The improbability of proving anything on the basis of facts arises from the following probable but complementary factors: i) facts are always incomplete or partial. iii) probability of alternative logic that may lead to different conclusion(s). even though the factual base remains the same. Proof probably lies in the logic. and which may possess features that make the two sets of facts incompatible. differ among scholars. and v) reality. ii) there is always the possibility of garnering more facts as time lapses or spatial context changes. Malthus selected population growth as the facet/phenomenon of study. inference or conclusion drawn from data may tend to be provisional and tentative. In view of this limitation. In so far as the empirical evidence is concerned. In many cases. that are germane to the problem of study. facts or figures constitute. One may. is part actual and part perceptual. These factors facilitate the use of evidence to draw an inference(s) to validate the chosen postulation. vii) Identification of operational mechanism. Perceptions may. or both. in a manner of speaking. iv) probable divergence of approach. which may not conform to the presently available facts. It is because the facts are compatible with different interpretations. b) subtlety of texture with which facts are fused/ synthesized into the theoretical framework may make it . This postulation highlights that i) theory or principle is not fact specific. it is not possible to draw any conclusive inference from incomplete facts. collected evidence from the countries that fulfilled certain conditions. some economists chose the level of tariffs and their impact on growth for study. It is also unlike the case/ area study. But it does not mean selection of each and everything. however. vi) Application of concepts and analytical tools to evidence. he analysed the evidence to formulate his population theory. facts are also amenable to the application of different methods or approaches. views and interpretations of results emerging from the analysis of evidence among scholars. Similarly. x) Drawing of inference(s) from analytical results. and xi) Suggestion of alternative(s).dissimilarities. ix) Conclusion from comparative analysis. evidence may comprise of extensive statistical data/information. Then. the raw materials of comparative method. Third strand of thought asserts that „Nothing can ever be disproved by facts or figures. The interpretations may themselves be embodied in the theoretical or policy framework of analysis. v) Selection of the Mode/Mechanism of comparison. that is. therefore. experiential or statistical. Another stream of thought stresses that „Anything can be proved by facts/figures‟. if warranted. Then. Addional evidence may so radically differ from what is currently available as may refute the inference or invalidate the proposition that may be drawable from the initially given facts. Perceptional differences and ideological predilections of scholars also lead to differences in views/opinions. It may be noted that the evidence. and the flexibility of understanding that facilitate the compability of any given set of facts with the competing and even conflicting inferences on the other. experimental. The method may. it may be historical. It is probably because of this that Marshall declared that „data do not speak for themselves. embodied by facts. has to note the following three strands of thought regarding the usefulness of empirical evidence: I. underlying the analysis of facts or figures and the interpretation of results that those figures/facts may lead to. and III. however. II. its features and factors determining the outcome(s). It is governed more by a) assumptions that are used as the base of theorizing. they have to be made to speak‟. One stream of thought holds the view that ‘Nothing can ever be proved by evidence/figures’.

or regions/states within nations. and c) logical plausibility of an alternative cause being compatible with the observed consequence makes it possible to speculate that the idea/concept/hypothesis under investigation has a reasonable chance of being valid. Use of comparative method. the method attempted to identify or even evolve the policies and/or infer propositions. The method may be combined with one of many techniques of analyzing evidence/facts. based on extensive development related evidence has facilitated the evolution of the general theory of growth (Kuznets. from the available evidence or outcomes of the processes or operations under observation. sectors. 1954). Teune. Thus. form. Development economists focus on change or movement in time and its pattern. Periodisation of time into two or more parts has been a very common approach of this method. This method could easily be combined with the historical. on the other (Cf. sociologists have persistently used the comparative method for the formulation of postulations about the emergence of culture. facilitate only tentative hypothesisation/ theorizing. Periodisation and Temporal Comparison . development experiences and the observed processes of development have furnished the base of formulation of such concepts as „Modernization‟. 1990). constitutes the basis of this method. The political scientists and historians have generally focused on the formation of empires/nations/states/countries on the one hand. however. Lewis. organizations or parts thereof. 1969. Above discussion leads us to believe that any evidence used for analysis can. Difference and Differential Equation Models and Dummy Variable models have been popular among mathematical economists and econometricians for studies in a comparative framework.difficult to invalidate the given proposition. It also enabled the formulation of such concepts as a) Stages of Growth. at the best. social institutions and traditions. industries within regions/states with a view to draw general inferences about the system‟s behaviour and/or growth or development. and even smaller entities such as districts. systems. As against development economists. organizations. administrative systems etc. experimental and experiential evidence as the support base. The observed experiences/experimentation of some developing countries have been used comparatively to propound such new concepts as „Guided or Controlled Democracy‟ and theorizing about the success or failure of coalition governments in multi-party democratic systems. divided arbitrarily into parts. Regression Estimates of Growth Rates. Clark. 1956. „Society in Transition‟ and the „State of Social Flux‟. and b) Take-off (Rostow. It is probably because of these facets that positivists are inclined more towards deduction rather than induction as an instrument of scientific research. whereas. Sociologists and Political Scientists have used this method very extensively. Entities of comparison may. Temporaneous Comparative Method Differentiation and distinction between two or more components of the continuum of time. and such other phenomena as processes and/or conditions that shape and guide operations or their outcomes may also be the focus of comparison. and evolution of political systems. Economists. and/or structure. Mathematical models may map out the entire time path of movements on the basis of the given initial conditions(s) and specification of the structure of the model. be geographical or administrative units. 1960). Development Experience Development economists have often used comparative method to examine and evaluate i) historical or contemporary evidence about the level of growth achieved and the growth path traversed by nations. which are general in nature.

Prakash and Sharma. This also falls within the purview of comparative method of research. economic or organizational facet. associated with specific periods. political. 2002. an appropriate indicator of performance during the entire duration of two periods may also be estimated and compared. The difference will highlight the impact of a given change/break/policy. If two different time periods are involved. (1) . that might have characterized the functioning of a system/sub-system/economy/tradition/ values/ institutional set up or behaviour of a variable or a group of variables.. Periodisation attempts to divide/classify the continuum of time into two or more parts on the presumption that the dividing line of this continuum furnishes such watershed(s) as represents a structural break or change in vital condition(s)/factor. The regression model used in these studies is outlined hereunder: ln Y= b(0)+b(1)t + b(2)D + b(3)t D + U …………………….The process of demarcating and dividing the continuum of time into compartments is known as periodisation and the analysis of each period/ sub-period separately with a view to compare the results of analysis of each period with one another has been the part of the period analysis (See Baumol. that affects operation(s) of the system and its outcome(s). The break may itself be represented by i) Cessation of the operation of a) well defined trend. committed in two different studies. Regression estimates of annual compound growth rates may also be used in combination with periodisation (Sharma. Period analysis may well be adopted as the instrument of comparative method of study.………………………. 2001). that may be associated either with historical or natural or social-economic processes and/or operations. periodisation has been found to be quite helpful for such comparative as well as evaluationary studies (Sharma. or ii) Absence in one and presence in another period of a well defined change or operational condition(s). or it may just herald the movement in a direction different from the earlier one. having a bearing upon the operations and/or outcomes of the functioning of the system/variable may characterize these periods. to facilitate inferential conclusions a la Rostowian Theory of Stages of Growth. or v) The trend. conceptual.. that used dummy variable are highlighted here. 1959). A critical note on one of these studies by Shalini Sharma (1996) had been published in EPW. social. while value(s) at the beginning of the period and terminal value(s) may be worked out and compared. philosophical and methodological.. which has preceded the second study by Bhatt (1996). Incidentally. Such condition(s) may be associated with some natural. a new trend might have emerged. There are two alternative techniques available for such studies: i) complete time path(s). Sharma. that prevailed upto a point in time but gave way to different condition(s). or b) Break may mark the reversal of direction of the trend. 1994. may mark the period(s) under consideration. The analysis of outcomes in a comparative framework furnishes an idea about the relative performance/outcome/result in two or more periods. iii) Presence/ absence of well marked forces/factors/variables. Therefore. The statistical significance of the difference of paired parametric estimates of trend growth rates may be used to evaluate the differential performance of sector(s)/economy. may distinguish one from another period. operating upto a given point. traversed by the variable(s) or system as a whole may be traced and analyzed. 1998). Dummy Variable and Temporal Comparison Dummy variable based estimates of regression parameters may offer an alternative to the detailed periodisation as a method of analysis. or iv) Termination of one and initiation of another policy. may register a structural break. One may also heuristically compare the distinctive periods on the basis of overall evidence and the distinctive features. 2002). which have been distinguished by different policies or features in operation or conditions in prevalence (Prakash. and ii) time-path of movement may be overlooked. But absence of the former and presence of later condition is assumed to exercise a decisive influence on the system under study. glaring errors. Naturally.

2. If it is part of the explanatory variable.. dummy variables. but D is treated as a binary variable.. autonomous value of Y. (3) . are assigned as values to time variable.where Y is the variable growth of which is to be evaluated during pre and post reform periods. D acts both as an autonomous and as a part of explanatory apparatus. it has to be subjected to differentiation. In this regression model. it is above understanding that considers b(2) to measure the difference of intercept between post and pre-reform periods. value of the parameter b(0) is interpreted as autonomous influence on Y. D also relate to time. having value 0 for the pre-reform and value one for reform period. t. do not blame Bhatt for this error. time in this case. It may be noted that time has entered the model as a determinant of the dependent variable and both t and D relate to the same time variable. since he is following standard econometric model available in literature (See. having 0 and 1 as values for specified years of time in pre and post reform periods. Obviously. variable D is not subjected either to differentiation or differencing. depending upon whether a year falls in pre or post reform period. The standard regression equation is Y=b(0)X(0) + b(1)X(1) + b(2) X (2) + U ……………………………………………… (2) In this equation. that is.……. 1989). Gujarati. defined by D. Individual years. or interpretation. Sharma or refute her arguments. since its coefficient is interpreted to reflect the intercept. Like t. range of D is compressed between 0 and 1. This is erroneous. uniformly having unity as value and not subject to differentiation. Besides. then it can not be interpreted to have any association with the slope coefficient. If D is constant.. time is assumed to change discretely rather than continuously. Conceptually and philosophically. are assigned either 0 or 1 as values in binary range of 0 and 1. But then the variable D is assumed to act in conjunction with the explanatory variable t in third term of the equation. however. Why should the same variable be included twice in the model? However. though her comments have been published by a highly popular publication like Economic and Political Weekly. natural numbers. and because of this constancy of X(0). Unlike the range of t. It is measured by discrete numbers the range of which is defined by the duration of time span covered by the study. I. while b(0) is the usual intercept. covered either by pre or post reform period. The error is rather professional and profession has failed to either take cognizance of the criticism of this approach by S. if X(1) and X(2) are zero. 1. Then. dummy variables D also pertain to the same years both in pre and post reform periods as t relates to. it shall yield dY  b(1)dt  b(3)dt Y  [b(1)  b(3)]dt …………………………………………………………. This embodies logical fallacy. It is obvious that b(1)+b(3) in equation 1 furnish an estimate of the coefficient of variable t and tD. while same units of t. D is dummy variable. We can not retain contradictory assumptions. 1972).3. D is the part of autonomous value. D obviously measures the influence of all variables other than t on Y. can not be measured in two alternative ways in the same study. then b3 becomes the coefficient of t. X(0) has unity as its value uniformly. attached to t. as is the case with any variable associated with intercept. t is time and U is error term. Since D has either zero or unity as value for all the years. the same given unit/entity/variable. Thus. independent of t (Rao and Miller. are measured by natural numbers in a continuum within 1 to T range. if equation 1 is differenced or differentiated with respect to t. independent of X(1) and X(2). or treatment. But in the dummy variable model. which shall yield the slope estimate. If D equals unity. corresponding to two parts into which the entire period has been divided.

Then.1977). t (i)  {b(0)  b(2)}  {b(1)  b(3)}t Equations 4 and 5 may be interpreted as the growth functions of post and pre reform periods. For example. These specifications are fine. if one does not impose semi-log specification for the derivation of growth rates. Several Non Parametric Tests. If one directly derives the growth implication from equation 4 by differentiating or differencing. But in dummy variable case. This will make the interpretation of these coefficients severally for pre and post reform period crumble. b(1) and b(3) have to be taken jointly rather than severally for the interpretation of results. Comparison of Distinct States/Conditions Many facets of socio-economic reality are qualitative in nature. b(1) is interpreted to represent the slope for pre-reform period for which D has O as its value. as it is. if D is constant. Differences for post reform period shall also be zero. and E ln Y (i) D  0.. Now. t (i)  b(0)  b(1)t ……………………………. its cause and effect. But then D can not be treated as an explanatory variable. Signed Rank Test and Coefficient of Association. 1962. b(1) can easily be defined as annual compound rate of growth for the entire period. These conceptual and methodological problems have been overlooked. Bhatt (1996) seems to have been oblivious of these technical and conceptual problems that the specification of equation 1 embodies. t represents entire period as one composite unit. Analysis of variance and covariance also involves the use of comparative method (For Difference Equations Based Models of Education.. where b(2) measures intercept difference and b(3) the slope difference of these two periods. These growth implications are derivable only if the values of D are substituted into the equation and differencing/ differentiating is performed after this substitution. such as Sign Test. If. Concerns with Spatial Aspects of Development. available information may be classified in two groups according to gender.. Naturally. 1971 Prakash for Difference Equation Models of Population Growth and Education. however. their differences. one has difficulties. Whereas natural and physical sciences are concerned with change in space. differencing/ differentiating is performed on equation 1.…………………… (4) …………………. and product tD will equal zero. let it be assumed that E(U(i))=0. specially spatial inequalities in the post second war period. social sciences focus mainly on change in time. . one shall encounter difficulties with respect to differences/ differentials of D. where dt equals unity through out the period of observation. though this model is a part of literature. it is the sum of b(1) and b(3) in relation 5 and dt in relation 3. Bos and Correa. ordinal measurement may. be compatible with qualitative variables. Shalini Sharma has critically commented upon a similar study published in EPW.………(5) and E ln Y (i) D  1. though the emergence of Regional Science has facilitated the incorporation of analysis of change in space in social sciences also. 1976. however. politically and socially different contexts and their impact on operational decisions. not for any sub-period. or Coefficient of Contingency as the Test Criterion have been developed and their application involves comparison. See Correa and Tinbergen. The variable(s) or parameter(s) may not admit cardinal measurement. also See. All values of D.This will hold only if D is treated as a constant and equal to unity. Even the absence or presence of some trait may facilitate categorization or classification. which emerges as the coefficient of t or dt. in order to see the other implications of model 4. Spatial Comparative Method It has already been discussed that the focus of comparative method is change.

and hence. However. In the comparison of spatial entities. which constitutes the hub of comparative method. and e) policies evolved and implemented. may relate to a) nations. when changes in time are held constant or neutralized. c) systems evolved. discovery of similarities may guide the comparison of two or more entities at a single point in time. discern. similarities may be analysed to draw inferences about the pattern(s) and/or structure(s). The comparison of two different entities at a single point in time may often highlight differences and dissimilarities. deduce similarities and/or dissimilarities. may logically be assumed to lead to similarity or uniformity. therefore. implicitly be assumed that the constancy of time leads to similarity(ies) even though one may focus on two or more spatial entities. which are then imputed to differences in structures and systems and the policies associated with the same. Therefore. It may. the very success of policy changes the problems. even if the same policy is pursued continuously. while space is held constant. As against this. has facilitated the shift in exclusive focus from change in time to change in space. The distance in space is also conventionally assumed to relate to changes or differences that have emerged. that condition and guide operational system(s) and their modes of functioning. regularity/uniformity of movement or path(s) traversed. collection and arrangement of evidence. explained and highlighted through comparative method with a view to deduce and infer general proposition(s). These dissimilarities or differences are envisaged to arise from change in time. even though the entities of comparison may be quite comparable in certain respects. This process of comparison starts with the identification. while dissimilarities are quite natural to be expected from . patterns and structures. For example. discover. These changes will make the policy inappropriate under these changed circumstances (Prakash. It may be due to the hidden or even apparent differences arising out of spatial/ locational distances. since constancy of time involves zero time distance. Spatial distances are often closely associated with socio-economic. comparison(s).. b) level and/or structure of development reached/ attained. or space. The effect of process of temporal change tend to transform the very variables or factors. in my view. are as much capable of throwing up differences and dissimilarities as are temporal distances. however. policy orientation and even the modes and mechanisms of policy implementation or functioning may be envisaged to have led to differences and dissimilarities. d) problems faced and remedies discovered. not uncommon to discover divergence rather than convergence emerging out of spatial comparisons (Cf. Comparison and contrast of development or achievement(s) may involve either time. these differentials are sought to be compressed. As against this. involving spatial distance. specially economists. Teune. If similarities characterize different spatial entities of comparison. But this may or may not be the case in reality. therefore. facts/data or observations that pertain to i) entities at a given point in time. the level and structure of development of the countries of first and second worlds in post second war period is often compared with a view to highlight the differences and divergences in their achievements. Logic warrants that we should assume that both time difference and space distance are compatible both with uniformities/ similarities and diversities/dissimilarities. or both. cultural and institutional differences. It is. politico-administrative. or smaller entities within the nation. even though time might have been kept constant. structures and patterns that guide change itself. Use of comparative method by social scientists. structures etc.community specificity of Values and Traditions and their overall effect on systems can also be studied in comparative framework. So. It is implied that the temporal distance produces dissimilarities and differences. comprehended. that is. strengths and weaknesses. The differences in socio-economic conditions. the basic objective of comparison of a given entity at two points in time is to discern and detect dissimilarities. or ii) a given phenomenon/entity at different points in time with a view to detect. that the process of change in time definitely leads to. characterizing these entities. 1994). These guideposts are greatly likely to vary in time. be averred that comparative method concentrates on the comparison of change(s) either in time or space. policies or procedures. or even both. and institutions/organizations developed. So spatial distances. geographers and sociologists. It may. 1984).

ii) decision and behavioural modes. US not only encouraged such studies but it also provided liberal funding during the cold war era (Teune. thrust. values and culture. implicitly or even explicitly assumed the i) institutional set up. The differences or divergences. Inferences drawn from such assumptions transgress both the time and space constraints. be different qualitatively. Unlike the German Historical School. that country could adhere to it at other points in time also. These two sets of generalizations may. have to be explained. Standard may be hypothetical in which case it has to be conceptualized. whereas similarities or conformance and congruence endow these generalisations with the capacity to encompass wider space as well as facilitate predictability in time even if the long temporal traverse is involved.temporal comparison of the given entity at two points in time. comparative education. and comparison of health systems also provide instances of comparative studies. and convergence and divergence. other countries could benefit by following the experiment(s)/ experience(s) of that country at that or other points of time also. International Comparison In the post second war period. organizations. Such assumptions are highly abstruse and abstract. that purport to be common generalizations. The standard may also be drawn from ethics and values. and iii) achievements of US economy and society to act as the standard upto which others have to come and with which the currently prevailing state has to be compared to delineate not only the direction but also distances to be covered. systems. Both dissimilarities and similarities may have to be analysed to yield useful generalizations from the comparison of either temporal or spatial entities at or through time and space. dissimilarities may also emerge from the comparison of two or more spatial entities at the given point in time. deducible from the employment of comparative method as an analytical tool. or pattern and structure of change or its consequences. The Principles or laws. Country comparisons are assumed to be helpful in deducing and/or discerning and discovering (i) general principles or laws of change in time on the one hand. what has succeeded in some country at some point in time. political scientists and sociologists have used the comparative method usually for such inter country comparisons. and the best or worst scenarios that may be envisaged as outcomes of the operational factors. Comparison and contrast then assumes that other country has to come upto this norm or standard. and hence. specially those funded by US. Most of the comparative studies. or political or economic ideology. The development economists. spatial comparative method focused on international comparisons which have been greatly popular. Such standard is likely to be perfect in conception or design. Standard or norm may also be real in which case it is likely to be empirical. Such inferences will autonomously flow from any general proposition about development/ growth. that has the capability to facilitate the realization of specified goals/targets and broader objective(s) having general approval and approbation (of those who are accepted as the standard and or guideposts) tend to operate with similar results. scope of coverage and power of explanation and prediction. Such comparisons may explicitly or even implicitly be based on the acceptance of one country as a norm/standard. For example. as Mill postulated (1843. or policies that lead to predicted outcomes in future on the other. the laws governing society and / or economy are also universal in nature and these are independent of time and space related profile. unrealistic. analysts who depend on comparative method for country comparisons. Comparison involves the acceptance/ approval and use of some norm or standard. or social set up or socio-politico-economic change. if a policy/system has been successful in a country at some point in time. focus both on similarities and dissimilarities. 1990). the success of USSR in achieving extremely rapid economic development in a few decades through centralized . Comparative religion. It implies that. implicitly assume that. however. Similarly. (ii) the best development policy(ies). Perfect Competition is such an hypothetical norm. 1961). like the laws of nature or principles of physical sciences. International comparisons hover largely around inter country comparisons.

and b) the time lapsed and spatial distance may alter socio-economic conditions to an extent that render the imitation of a successful system/ policy in some other country or smaller/larger spatial unit irrelevant for the late starters (Prakash. which could blur the comparison. mention that. Sweden had had i) more varied and higher employment level. which the market oriented capitalist countries achieved in centuries. he found that i) ten years of compulsory military service. One may. Malthus chose these countries for comparison with a great deal of care and caution. These two countries have had a great deal of resemblance in their general economic conditions.. As against this. pointing towards possible redundancy of additional workforce. when juxtaposed in the analytical framework of comparative method. As an illustration of the types of scenarios that inter-country comparisons may throw up. ii) possible redundancy very low. differed in too many respects from USSR or China. On deeper probe. however. Teune.K. Even though such comparisons do not fulfill all the conditions. Random Causes and their Effect As Base of Comparative Method Effect of sudden appearance of some natural cause or fortuitous circumstance has also been examined by the application of comparative method. This contrast also arises from too many differences. stipulated by Mill. affected both wages and growth of output. however. ii) prohibition of marriage without adequate financial means to support a family. or observed by Malthus in studying the demographic phenomenon in Norway and Sweden. it may be pointed out that the adoption of market based model of development by Germany. the method may still be used while differences in more than one aspect characterize the entities of comparison.planning. These differential facets still. which has more conducive climate and favourable soil than Norway. do not completely rule out the use of comparative method in practice. But average mortality of Sweden in proportion to its population was considerably higher than that of Norway. led Malthus to draw the inference(s) that he drew. iv) tendency of having more births in response to higher food availability. characterizing two politico-economic systems. The method of difference or comparison was used by Malthus to determine the causes of differential mortality rates in these countries. Such illustrations show the intricacies involved and the deft handling required for the use of comparative method. Radical decline in the supply of labour.appropriate. and experimentation with the heavy and basic goods dominated centralized planning model in Comecon group of countries with state based socialist polity on the other during the post war period threw up very contrasting and divergent outcomes of growth. similarities and dissimilarities. iii) general sentiment against early marriage. Countries like India. or rejection of a true hypothesis. Sweden has slight advantage over Norway. caused by Black (Plague) deaths in fourteenth century. iii) high average of marriages in proportion to population. A comparison of labour supply before and after black deaths highlights the effect of . iv) absence of migration and division of labour. He found the prevalence of superior preventive checks to be prevalent in Norway in comparison to Sweden. Cf. other West European countries and Japan in a democratic polity on the one hand. The heavy and basic goods centric planned development model found numerous adherents in the post second war period. and v) public policy to encourage population growth. the above approaches to policy and/or theorization may also involve two types of errors: a) the very success of a particular system/ policy generates changes that make the persistent use of the same in. 1996. all these factors taken together kept both birth and death rates low in Norway. Thus. like two types of statistical errors. France. These observed differences made the contrast quite sharp. leading either to acceptance of a false. having opted for heavy and basic goods centric model of industrialization in a mixed economy and democratic polity. dominated by heavy and basic industries. 1990). inspired numerous developing countries to opt for the model of planned development. U. Proper use of comparative method suggests the difference in only one and similarities in most other respects.

made it resemble the western model. while the number of private enterprises in a big chunk of the economy. may be compared with Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for analysing development in the post independence period. Rather than . IMF attempting uniformisation through a) sustained reduction in diversities in public policy with commonly defined goals. based on ‘state knows the best’ as against ‘individual knows the best what is good for him/her’. anthropology and psychology keep research focused on micro analysis. Scarcity of supply during the famine and consequent highly marked rise in price could be linked to each other. Notwithstanding the above. devoid of the capability of generating basic laws or theories. and Japanese. Comparative Religion are illustrations of such mistaken identification of a method of research used in investigation as a discipline by itself if considered in the context of specific application of comparative method to a particular discipline (Cf. WB.scarcity of labour on wages. Lewis evaluated the effect of Irish Potato Famine during the period from 1845-1849. The comparisons are now naturally of part(s) with the whole.P. which are rewarded in a market economy. risk taking and enterprise. however. exercise of options by the state for individuals and the regimented as against liberal political order. Between these two. which contains national as a part of global development. But the findings of such micro research studies are assumed to be case studies. Ragin. Comparative Sociology. Comparative Politics. vital. offered multiple cases of inter-country comparisons. 1987). b) effectiveness of private enterprise and initiatives in comparison to inefficient functioning of the state. macro with macro and one time period with another. or whole with the whole in two different time periods. while most of the social sciences. conditions of living etc. and b) promotion of creativity. Such comparisons may highlight differential movement of different spatial units along the development path during the same period. German and French could be distinguished within Western models. Since the seventies. National is replaced by the global system. stood the Indian model that resembled Soviet model with respect to heavy and basic goods in the centre of industrialization and socialistic pattern of society. and c) effect of individual freedom of choice as against the standardization of human needs. Once the base year/period. embodying diversities of outcomes of development in respect of the level of GNP. Political ideology provided the base of these models. But one may also conceptualise intra-country analysis. Method of comparison is thus compatible with the contrast of micro with macro. Bihar and U. Within each category. Sir G. however. having public sector as the pivot of development with extensive control. Inter-Country analysis has. such as sociology. Supply and price before and after the famine are then compared in order to deduce the causal link between scarce supply and high price. operating according to the principles of market economy. The very concept of development is Western – rise in per capita income being its sumum and bonum. On lines similar to those of comparison of the West and East Europe. these models. research based on comparative method is usually considered to have led to the evolving of sub-disciplines. involving entities much smaller and lower than the nations as the focus of application of comparative method. Equivalence of the entities of comparison is. having similar initial conditions was identified and the terminal period/year was selected. C. development is global rather than national with such agencies as WTO. Chinese could be distinguished from Soviet model in several respects. Comparisons could lead to the identification of less or more development achieved or crudely defined different stages of growth reached as the outcomes resulting from a) efficacy of the market in relation to state control. direction and regulation of private enterprise in market operations. Development Models and Country Comparisons Post war concern with development put socialist and centrally planned Soviet and Chinese models on the one end of spectrum and capitalist and market based Western models on the other in the centre stage. Comparative Education. been selectively applied largely in macro comparisons.

the method used shall be dynamic rather than static comparative method. Theories of Social Sciences purport to be the theories of change. that corresponded to the products. For example. These theories are necessarily across time. entire (time) path traversed may also be the subject of comparative method. first and second groups may overlap in terms of entities or phenomena of study. as stipulated by Mill. the comparative method has been the base of several interesting theories/generalizations in different branches of the social science. In latter cases. listed in my approach as the second group. Similarly. or these focused on the detecting of contrasts and dissimilarities in operational outcomes that could then be imputed to differences of styles. the latter may be termed as ahistorical or atypical comparative method. In such cases. and the systems with which they functioned. a comparison of Andaman & Nicobar Islands with any other Indian state or Union Territory may furnish cross level generalisations. time shall become a continuous rather than a discrete bi-value variable. Rows and columns of input output table of Indian economy. Focus on temporal changes may generally involve the study of any entity or phenomenon at two different points in time. These two groups together will exhaust Teune‟s country comparisons also. Comparative method has very often been directed at any two or more nations‟ achievement. in the context of regional science. however. all other things. This innovative approach to comparative method opens up new possibilities of application. Teune. has used both school level and country level input coefficients of education. Intra-country comparisons for a vast and diverse country like India are inevitable. had been kept the same. in fact. comparative method may be considered as an appropriate method of social science research.comparing only the outcome(s) and its cause(s). Solution values of output and its sectoral composition after the substitution were compared with the pre-substitution values in initial solution. This approach abstracts from distances or differences in time. development of periphery under the impact of pole/centre through linkages also highlights this aspect of comparative analysis. that is typical or historical in nature. macro and micro comparisons. Thus. Comparative studies may also relate to analysis of the impact of macro entities on micro units or vice versa. that are based on generic principles (Cf. All such studies have to be empirical in nature. particularly development. For example. policies and/or systems and their structures. But the cross level generalisations are supposed to constitute macro analysis. Ramasubramanian (2005) in a recent study. if not uniformities. by definition. hierarchical structures of super and sub-ordination and networking. the spatial or locational context remaining the same. which will then be the focus of study . Hence.N. Mathur. This involves comparison neither across time nor through space. Hemlata (2005). It will become obvious from the illustrations that follow. which particular company produced. 1991). The choice of spatial change will have two entities as focus. As comparative method focuses on change and social science research also focuses on change. compared the systems of governance in India and Britain of those days in order to evolve his Theory of the Drain which. be either macro or micro in dimension. Such comparisons either attempted to bring out similarities. Analysis of such cases may enable the formulation of laws/ theories about both development and underdevelopment. In this case. in my opinion. though these may involve both inter and intra country comparisons. these may also pertain to change in space. Choice of Time or Space as the focus of comparison furnishes the analytical framework. P. fathered the economics of underdevelopment (Cf. 1984). evaluated the economy wide macro impact of micro operations of a single company/ corporate and micro impact of macro operations of the sectors of the economy on one company. in another study. For example. The entities of study in both the cases may. needing co-ordination. except those corresponding to company operations. will only be the sub-components of this group. Analysis of spatial or locational change abstracts from the effects of change in time in order to focus exclusively on the spatial dimension of change. He. From this view point. or alternatively. Dada Bhai Naoroji in his Un-British Rule in India. were replaced by the company level data. involve similar organisational patterns. Intra country comparisons assume that all the systems. is first ever Theory of Under-development.

and pre and post reform periods on the other. or comparison of states of two or more entities at different points of time with a view to detect and discern either similarities or dissimilarities. having the same spatial dimension/ location at different points in time.by comparative method. As against this. But then the focus shall shift from outcomes of change to process of change itself. Similarly. both in time and space. strengths and weaknesses. This is easily achieved by holding space constant. if one examines only the state of one given phenomenon. comparative analysis may highlight that Capitalism and Free Enterprise based economies like Japan and Germany have developed much more rapidly than Socialism and State Enterprise based countries like Poland and Hungary. whereas it examines the state of two entities/ phenomena. and ii) „In the competitive electoral political systems. The method is a deft combination of induction with deductive reasoning in so far as it uses both empirical evidence to support logic and abstraction from details. are poor and developing. Analytical results. Similarly. during the post second world war period. combined both space and time in their comparison of developed and developing countries to focus on the role of resource transfers from primary to secondary sectors as the cause and mechanism of growth. changes both in time and space and the effects of their mutual interactions may be undertaken in a dynamic rather than comparative static framework. problems and their solutions may be used to formulate interesting propositions of dynamic nature. abstraction from and neutralization of the effects of spatial change is warranted. derived from both types of studies based on comparative method. whose economies are dominated by primary production. This is what Malthus did in analyzing differential growth of population in Norway and Sweden. whereas per capita income of independent India has grown at a rate of 2 per cent per annum despite rapid population growth during the second half of the twentieth century (See Prakash.5 times faster than in the earlier period due to proactive role of the state in development. 2005). Besides. two party systems have greater capacity to change from one to another policy than the multi-party systems‟ (Teuene. and such a theory of development as Stages of Growth may be inferred and/or proposed. has been analyzed by Prakash (2005). 1990). The analysis of historical and contemporary experiences of the countries in a comparative framework have revealed that i) countries. under certain circumstances. the impact of new economic policy in general and scale and technology upgradation in particular on employment has been studied recently by Prakash . Changes. This objective is attained. however. The differences due to space/ location of change are thus brought under control. Hence. macro generalisations about human behaviour and social systems. It is the motion or change in time that then becomes the subject of study in such cases. are involved in such comparisons. Abstraction from and neutralization of „change in time‟ will warrant the „holding of time as constant‟. This freezes change in time. their problems and remedies may be the focus of this method. or policies. This is how the differential growth performance of Indian economy during pre and post indepence periods on the one hand. or laws. are rich and developed. as enunciated by Clark(1954) and reformulated by Lewis (1960). the comparison of Indian economy in pre and post independent eras reveals that the growth of GDP in the later period has been 3. be noted that. while the countries. real per capita income of colonial India was practically stagnant during the first half of the twentieth century despite the slow population growth. comparative study or framework in such cases pertains only to one single point/ period in time. It may. Contrasting and comparing two or more entities at a given point in time and/or even across time. The descriptive theory of growth. For focusing attention on temporal changes exclusively. This may be achieved easily by concentrating attention on two or more spatial entities/ locations of change in space at a single point in time. whose structures are dominated by manufacturing industries. General lessons from comparative study of countries. Comparison of even smaller entities like organizations/ institutions. having relational dimension to two or more points in space. could be used to furnish the basis of general propositions.

and changes in final demand at two different points of time are allowed to display their effect. or ii) employment displacing. For example. comparative method may be quasi normative and quasi positive in approach. design and orientation. which is desired to be achieved. Leontief Inverse for 1988-89 and 1993-94 are thus envisaged to encompass the differential technological distance traversed by Indian economy from 1989 to 1994. the study of micro parts of the countries. The twin concepts of macro and micro are relational as both these are defined in relation or even contrast to each other.and Balakrishnan (2005). the stages of growth. therefore. Therefore. macro analyses huge aggregates or averages. in turn. comparative method may throw up general propositions. It may. micro focuses on behavior or decisions of individuals or smaller entities that also involve small quantities. . has been used for predicting the future. and others highlighted the differences in experiences of countries and tried to explain these as a part of the macro theory of development and theory of historical change respectively. It means that there is the ‘next stage’ along the development path. may be foreseen and predicted from Rostow‟s theory of stages of growth. Off course. Spenser. Macro deals with the whole. 1990). Besides. 1996. This represents a subtle extension of the comparative method. the underlying assumption is that now developing countries shall conform to the policy and growth path traversed historically by the industrialized countries of the world. as per the theory of input output modeling. and iii) final demand. or ii) employment creating. Durkhiem. intra country units such as regions/states/provinces. ‘what changes in structure ought to be involved in development’ may be predicted by the descriptive theory of growth. Thus. while micro focuses on parts. Macro and Micro Comparisons Rostow. whereas micro discusses small entities or values. Henry Teune. The results have facilitated empirical evaluation of a set of hypotheses: whether the growth of Indian economy has been i) employment neutral. Lower structure/stage is then the ‘Actual’. Notwithstanding this. There is no scope for divergence. assumes that the technology is represented by Leontief Inverse. mechanisms or procedures/ policy to be pursued and instruments to be used to be the same. the study attempted to isolate the effect of change of i) technology. invariably involves the analysis of human mind. This theoretical base. Cf.. whereas behaviouristic/ human elements get eliminated in aggregation or averaging to arrive at macro values/ aggregates for macro analysis. when technology remains constant on the other. and ii) productivity. Labour coefficients have then been combined with the technology matrices to determine i) employment and its sectoral composition. it implicity assumes the path to be laterally traversed. that are expected to be accepted and implemented across time and/or space in order to realize a given goal (Prakash. S. final demand of 1993-94 has been used in conjunction with Leontief Inverse of both 1989 and 1994 to generate two different solutions. Final demand of 1989 has been combined both with 1989 and 1994 Leontief Inverse to generate different solution values of output and its sectoral composition. The study. enunciated by Colin Clark or Arthur Lewis respectively. The study has thus focused on differences of technology at two different points of time. that the developing countries are expected to traverse in the process of movement along the growth path. Similarly. Intra and inter-temporal comparisons have also been facilitated with cross comparisons. and ‘Higher Stage/Structure’ is the Norm/Standard. ii) technology. districts/divisions within states and even cities within districts. when final demand is kept constant on the one hand. Marx. Thus. and ii) final demand on output and its sectoral composition on the basis of comparative method. be noted that “Macroness necessarily assumes aggregative even though it may be implicitly micro‟. which may not conform to reality. associated with what is conceived as development or growth with which current stage/structure is to be compared. The comparative method has thus facilitated the analysis of change in i) time. Similarly. Weber. however. which may come handy as prescriptive or normative paradigms. or ‘Higher Structure’. Micro or behavioral decisions‟ analysis. that is. It implies uniqueness and want of options.

logic and assumptions similar to those as are involved in cross country or inter-country comparisons (Cf. The comparative method may involve either comparison of two or more countries at a point in time. strengths and weaknesses. 717. though the magnitudes or values of these variables may be macro. Macro necessarily imply micro variables involved in the systems is fraught with the possibility of absurd infrences being drawn. Vol.based on the use of comparative method involves approach. Later case will also be macro in nature.Methodology of science may be defined as the principles of knowing. Teune. Sage. Contrasting and comparing two or more entities at a given point in time or even across time (stages of growth). systems. Note). an entity at different points of time to detect and discern similarities as well as dissimilarities. bad harvests. That law was itself antagonistic to free competition. General lessons from comparative study of countries macro generalisations about human systems stages of growth theory. and last. which it set aside in favour of a crude form of socialism. countries. since a lot of information may be lost in the process of averaging or aggregating the micro entities. 1990). two party systems have greater capacity to change policy than multi-party systems. comparative analysis of countries or systems is macro in nature. this fallacy is not confined to the cases only when an effect is attributed to a cause related to it but also when an effected is imputed exclusively to a cause which may only either be connected to the effect only partially or may be acting in conjunction with other causes also. In Else Oyen (Ed) Comparative Methodolgy. It is one of several „logic‟ pursued to unify the fields of knowledge and disperate experiences. Marshall the second type of error when the cautions. Historians have been persistently comparative to address the formation of cultures/empires. p. 1st Edition. Comparing Countries: ‘Lessons Learned’ Comparison of nations. p. nations. Common fallacy than a false argument from cause to effect based on an illegimate application of the comparative method. development.. 199). problems and their solutions. administrative systems etc. that exercised a degrading influence of character‟ (Principles of Economics. a bad poor law. Disadvantage There is no more…. achievements. Examples of the first type may be found in arguments supporting „protected trade on the basis of prosperity of US and free trade on the evidence of the prosperity of England‟ (Keynes. The macro comparison may be fraught with the possibility of absurd inferences being drawn at times. „In competitive electoral political systems. Henry Teune. . 1. Besides. which were partly due to war. Obviously. Comparative Method: Comparision of an entity at different points in time. problems and their remedies. even smaller entities like institutions. Comparisions can be both across time and space Use of „temporal and/or spatial logics of comparison. or comparison of two or more/different entities at a given point in time is associated with comparative method. Macro will necessarily imply that micro variables are involved in the system. but not least. or a comparison of a country/system at two points in time. 1990.against treating the new forces of competition as exclusively responsible for those sufferings of the English working classes at the end of the last century and the beginning of this.

while micro focuses on parts. research base on comparative method is usually treated as a subdiscipline by itself. the basic objective of comparison is to discern and detect dissimilarities that the process of change in time has resulted in. have to be . the comparative study of micro parts of countries that is. this approach also involves two types of errors: a) the very success of a particular policy generates changes that make the persistent use of the same in appropriate. *(ii) to learn about the best development policy(ies) or social change. cf. these theories purport to be the theories of change. whereas behaviouristic human elements get eliminated in the process of aggregation or averaging. Intra country comparisions assume that all systems. 1990). Similarly. Cross level generalisations are supposed to constitute macro theory of social sciences. Comparative Politics.] advere to it at other points in time. been selectively applied largely to some sort of macro comparisions. intra countries such as regions/states/provinces and even cities involves the similar approach. may be compared with Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for analysing development in post independence period. Bihar and U. But the findings of such researches are assumed to be some sort of case studies devoid of generating. the success achieved by USSR in extremely rapid economic development in a few decades through centralized planning which the market oriented capitalist countries achieved in cneturies inspired numerous developing countries to opt for planned development. however. whereas the discovery of similarities guides the comparision of different entities at a given point in time. like the laws of nature. however mention that. independent of time and space. Comparative Education. Comparative studies may also relate to the analysis of the impact of macro entities on micro units or vice versa. by definition involve organisational patterns. while the spatial differences are sought to be compressed to deduce similarities. while most of the social science research remains focused on micro analysis. that country could * [unlike the German Historical School. Teune. It implies that if a policy has been successful in a country at some point in time. logic and assumptions as are involved in cross country or inter-country comparisions (Cf. 1961). The differences or divergences. such analyst seem to assume that. Besides. whereas micro discusses decision of individuals or entities involving smaller quantities. Teune. 1987). like two types of statiscal errors leading either to the acceptance of a false. “Macroness necessarily implies micro‟. Country comparisions have. 1990). Comparative Religion are its ilustrations (Ragin. 1996. the laws governing society and. Teune. micro analysis invariably involves analysis of human mind. what has succeeded in some country at some point in time. or economy are universal in nature.However. The twin concepts of macro and micro are relational as both these concepts are defined in relation or even contrast to each other. Macro deals with the whole. The heavy and basic goods centric planned development model found numerous adverents in the post second war period. For example. macro analyses big aggregates or averages. All such studies have to be emperical in nature. Country comparision are assumed to be helpful in deducing or discerning and discovering (i) general principles or laws of change. and b) the time lapsed and space relative change may alter the socio-economic conditions to an extent that render the imitation of a successful policy in some country irrelevant (Prakash. One way. Development economists and sociologists have used comparative method for country comparision. Comparative Sociology. 1984). These theories are necessarily across time or historical in nature. temporal distance is envisaged to produce dissimilarities and differences. Obviously. The Principles or the laws that purport to be common generalisation focus both on similarities and divergences. other countries could benefit from the experimental experience of those countries at that or other times. or the rejection of a true ingpothesis. hierarchical structures of super and sub-ordination and net working needing co-ordination that are based on generic principles (Cf. as Mill postulated (1843.P. Therefore.

Turn. For example. Durkhiem. Rostow and others highlighted differences in experiences and tried to explain these as a part of macro theory of development and theory of historical change. Weber. Spenser. .explained. Marx. the theoretical base has been used for predicting the future. the stages of growth that now developing countries shall traverse along the growth path may be foreseen from the theory of Rostow and what changes in structure shall be involved in development may be predicted by the theory of growth enunciated by Clark or Lewis. whereas the similarities or conformance congruence endow these generalisation with predictability.

Example: a) All social laws inspired observed behavior of natural phenomena which are assumed to be governed by Natural Laws. b) relating one with another event. and shortfalls. Growth and industry . action or behavior and c) Availability of natural and financial resources. and Indian conceptualization of life cycle thesis of Ashrams – 1) Brahamcharya. and 4) Sanyas patterned on the behavior of 4 seasons of nature b) Observed behavior of animals e. 3) Vanprastha.g. strengths and weaknesses of 1) macro two or more time periods. – similar methods of production and dependence on agriculture Differ. 5) Both differences and similarities detected and highlighted Less dev. 2) Two or more points of time but the entity remains the same. and 4) Factors-causes and consequences may be inferred. 3) Change-level and pattern and its effect may be gauged.i) Since men started searching knowledge ii) Limited by intellectual ability of a) observation. Swan Asan – Yoga iii) Focus on Assessment of achievements. 2) Grastha. successes and failures. 2) two or more countries/regions Comparative method 1) Two or more entities at a given point in time.

iii) people Subject to norm/standard or other times and units. pace of change Mill i) ii) Method of difference Method of Agreement Both complementary Friedman‟s comparison of capitalists vs. ii) times.e. Scientific Mill method of difference and Mill method of agreement complementary Detection of regular patterns of change and their causes Systems and patterns change Vs stagnation rapid or slow growth i.Basic objective Performance evaluation of i) countries. socialists Pre and post liberalization Pre and post independent Indian growth At lower levels communities and groups/governments micro Two or more persons .

Method of Agreement Relates cause with consequence same condition(s) exist in two or more cases of the same phenomenon and only one condition is common. that is identified as cause and the other as consequence Free Enterprise Market Higher Income A B Higher Income Cause .

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