EmPr Kaliappa Kalirajan

1998 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Before joining the Crawford School, Kaliappa Kalirajan was a Professor of International Economics at the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID) and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. Before joining FASID and GRIPS, he was Deputy Executive Director to Executive Director, in the Australia South Asia Research Centre at The Australian National University (1994-2000). He was Senior Research Fellow to Senior Fellow (1988-1994) in the Department of Economics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He was a lecturer to Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the National University of Singapore from 1981-1987.

From 1970 to 2020, authored, co-authored, or edited 18 books published by reputed international publishers. Published 165 research papersin the referred reputed academic journals, and contributed 45 chapters in edited books. Currently, serving in the editorial board of the following academic and policy oriented international journals:

1.   The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO and Blackwell-Wiley publishers.

2.   Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Blackwell-Wiley publishers.

3. Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer Publications

4. The Journal of Applied Economic Research, Sage Publications.

5. Review of Development and Change, Sage Publications.

6. Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Emerald Publishing.

CONSULTANCIES Undertaken from time to time:1. International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines.2. MARGA Institute - Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Institute for Development), Colombo.3. Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Dept., Malaysian Government, Kuala Lumpur.4. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.5. Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore.6. Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra.7. Western Australian Government, Dept. of Commerce and Industries, Perth.8. World Health Organization, Geneva.9. The World Bank, Washington, D.C.10. UNITAR, Geneva.11. UNESCAP, Bangkok.12. BHP Engineering, Sydney.13. UNDP, Washington, D.C.14. NCAER and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Govt. of India, New Delhi.15. Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines.16. Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo.17. Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, Department of Industry, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.18. Energy Change Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra.19. Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), Tokyo, Japan.20. ASEAN-Japan Centre, Tokyo, Japan.21. Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Jakarta, Indonesia.



Past student projects

PhD SUPERVISION Chair: (ANU)Student Thesis TitleAwarded:

1. Marios Obwona Production frontiers and efficiency measures: Concepts and applications.

2. R.A. Salim Economic Reforms and Productive Capacity Realisation in Bangladesh Manufacturing Industries.

3. X.Wang Contribution of China's Rural Industrialization to Economic Growthduring the Period of Economic Reform.

4. R. Mahadevan Sources of Growth in Singapore.

5. S. Nainggolan Technical and Institutional Change in Smallholder Rubber Production in Indonesia.

6. Than Nguyen Monetary Policy Reforms in Vietnam.

7. Kanhaiya Singh Inflation, Economic Growth and Monetary Policy in India: A Macroeconomic Analysis.

8. C.S. Sun Sources of Growth in East Asia: Revisited.

9. Adil Khan Miankhel Trade Exposure and the Dynamics of Regional Integration.

10. Shabhaz Nasir Service-led Growth in South Asia.

11. Gregory Lopez How Malaysia can get out of the Middle Income trap?

12. Raymond Prasad US Monetary policy and Monetary reaction function in the context of Global financial crisis.

13, Nguyen Dang Tai Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in Vietnam.

14. Arti Devi Essays in Monetary Policy in Developing Countries.

15. Tufail Khan Yousafzai Economic and Environmental Implications of Agricultural Externality using Dynamic Optimization.

16. Gan-Ochir Doojav A Macroeconomic Dynamic Stochastic General Equlibrium Model for Mongolia.

17. Yusof,Yusniliyana Fiscal Decentralization In Malaysia: Socio-7Economic Benefits.

18. Zaman,Kazi Arif Uz Regional Cooperation in Strengthening Low Carbon Green Growth among Asian Countries: Challenges, Prospects & Policy Framework.

19. Tran Huong Export Potential in Low Carbon Goods of APEC members.

20. Nguyen,Lam Xuan A Macroeconomic Stochastic Dynamic Model for Open Economies.

21. Firew Samuel SB ASEAN Economic Integration: Environment tax policy issues.

PhD Chair (GRIPS-FASID, Japan) (2001-2009) (Awarded)

1. Mizanur Rahman An Econometric Evaluation of East Asian Production Networks and China's Exports: Impact of Exchange Rates.

2. Imran Ullah Khan An Analysis of Pakistan’s Free Trade Arrangements with China, Sri Lanka, and Japan.

3. Chowdhury Zia UddinHayat (till Mar. 2009) The Process of Poverty Reduction in the Rural Economy of Bangladesh: The Role of Occupation Change and Institutional Access.

Research interests

Sources of growth, international trade, micro- and macro-econometric modeling, regional grouping, Low carbon energy systems, Indian economy.

Current student projects

Current PhD Students with titles - Under Preparation:

1. Liu,Yichang Essays in Trade policies in Asia: Low Carbon Green Growth.

2. Martha Primanthi Wage Differentials and Productivity in Indonesia’slarge and medium enterprises: An exploratory analysis.

3. Quoc Anh Ho The impacts of foreign direct investment on sustainabledevelopment of Vietnam

Researcher's projects

Funded Research Projects



                 Relations between South Asia and ASEAN - UNITAR Programme on Regional and Inter-regional Co-operation in the Eighties (Project Leader and Collaborator), 1982-83.


Australia - ASEAN Relations: Industrial Regulations and Licensing in Singapore (Collaborator), 1983-84.


A Regional Analysis of the Transfer and Performance of New Technologies in Rice-Based Farming Systems in Sri Lanka and the Philippines (Collaborator). A joint project by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Government of the Philippines, Australian National University and the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research, 1984-1988.


The Economics of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power in India: completed this AusAID funded project jointly with Dr. Ric Shand and Dr. M. Govinda Rao. This study analyses the patterns of supply of and demand for electrical energy, and identifies the factors causing persistent shortfall in production, pricing and distribution of electricity. It discusses the organisational and institutional constraints to improve the performance and suggests several solutions. 1996. The findings of this project were published as a book by the Macmillan Publishers.


Grain Production and Market Integration in China: In this collaborative research project with the University of Adelaide, and the Ministry of Agriculture in China, I had been working as a member of the ANU team with Professor Ross Garnaut and Dr. Yiping Huang. I had been working on the production aspects of the grain sector, particularly examining the question of potential of grain production in China. It has been acknowledged in the literature that productive efficiency in grain production in China has substantially improved in the post-reform period, particularly in the early eighties. Since then, there had been several policy changes in China, which had affected the growth of the sector. Specifically, the spectacular growth of rural industries has attracted significant physical and human capital from agriculture. It is in this context, Brown’s warning of China becoming world’s number one importer of grain soon, has raised an important question of whether China has reached its grain production potential. Using the recent household survey data from 1993 to 1995, this question has been answered. Some of the results have been presented in international conferences (at the East West Centre in August 1995 and at the Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing in October 1996). (1993-1996).


Accelerating Growth Through Globalising Indian Agriculture: This is a joint research project with the Madras School of Economics, India which was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. I was the project leader and also a collaborator. Objectives of this project were: · To review existing pricing and market policies affecting the agriculture sector for all major commodity groups at the national and regional levels with a view to identifying constraints on resource use impinging on the efficiency of trade, marketing and production activities, and suggesting policies to remove these constraints, and estimating the likely impact of such reform policies on the patterns of trade and domestic crop production, and on levels and gaps in incomes of the rural population between States;  ·  To identify technological, structural and institutional reforms required to ensure that price and market reforms are effective;  ·  To gauge the likely impact of agricultural growth under reform policies on the growth of manufacturing sector. This project was carried out during 1996-1999.  


Indias Reforms Dynamics: Weak Link in Poverty Alleviation. (Project leader)This project was funded by a research grant from the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development in Tokyo. Urban poverty in India is a spillover of rural poverty. To that extent, this project advocates policies directly targeting the agricultural sector to reduce poverty. This study argues that there is definitely a role for the government in poverty alleviation. This study shows that after the initiation of reforms, the divergence in growth rates across the states has been reduced. Though the effective functioning of some of the institutional factors have been responsible for reducing divergence in the post-reform periods, further improvement of institutional factors are needed. The policy conclusion is that promoting private investment and technological progress in agriculture are central to reducing poverty (2001-2002).   


Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC): (Project Leader) I had earlier worked jointly with Dr. Ric Shand of the Australian National University in this research topic as a continuation to our consultancy in 1995 to the Department of Foreign and Affairs and Trade of the Commonwealth of Australia. With the landmark economic reforms in South Asia and political changes in South Africa, several issues concerning trade and investment have emerged within the Indian Ocean region and internationally. Following the concept of ‘Open Economic Association’, the question examined in this project is whether a market-driven economic integration is emerging involving the Indian Ocean Rim countries. We have published some of our results in research journals since 1996. (2001-2003).  


Are the Poor States Left Behind with the Economic Reform of India? (Project leader) This project was funded by the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development in Tokyo. This study is an attempt to examine if the spillover effects of growth in one state lead to growth in another state using various statistical tests of ‘causality’. Are the Indian states ‘islands’ isolated from each other’s growth impulses? In this project, we briefly reviewed the growth experience of the states in an attempt to discern if there were patterns with respect to growth across states: did some states perform generally ‘better’ than other states? Next, ‘causality tests’ were defined and test results were discussed with special attention to explore possible explanations for the causal linkages between states. Finally, the concluding remarks of this exploratory study were presented with policy recommendations for strengthening growth linkages across States. (2002-2003). The results were published in the Oxford Development Studies and the International Journal of Social Economics.  


A Comparative Analysis of Macroeconomic Policies of China and India: Is Australias Trade More Open to China than to India?: (Project leader) The Chinese government has demonstrated its potential to growth. Why does India lag in showing the same kind of dynamics? Can India learn from the Chinese experiences? In what ways the Chinese macroeconomic policies are different from those of India? These are some of the questions that have occupied the minds of development economists always. Thus, an analytically critical study of the Indo-Chinese economies was long overdue. Such a comprehensive analysis should include all critical areas of policy formulation and make a comparative perspective for the benefit of developmental strategies of other developing countries. The objective of this study is to examine the trade policy and its impact on trade in these countries using Australia as a benchmark for performance measurement. This project was funded by FASID. Dr. Kanhaiya Singh of the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi was the collaborator and the project was completed in December 2005.


Exploring the BIMSTEC-Japan Free Trade Option towards Asian Economic Community. (Project leader)

The objective of our research is estimating the trade effects of the free trade arrangements between Japan and BIMSTEC. From the low trade coverage between Japan and BIMSTEC countries it is seen that there is enough potential for trade between Japan and BIMSTEC countries, which can only be achieved through free trade arrangement between the two. Therefore, estimating trade potential between the two will be the first step, which will suggest the extent of PTAs or even to go further, time horizon for FTA to achieve the larger goal of Asian Economic Community. In the second part of this study, we measured the expansion of the intra-regional trade (i.e. between Japan and BIMSTEC countries) under different hypothetical PTAs ( i.e. under four scenarios viz. 25 per cent tariff cut, 50 per cent tariff cut, 75 per cent tariff cut and under free trade condition) . Our tool for empirical analysis is an extended stochasic varying coefficients version of the well-known gravity model of bilateral trade as developed by Kalirajan. The co-researcher in this project was Dr. Swapan Bhattacharya from the Indian Institute of Public Administration in New Delhi. This project was completed in March 2006.


The Impact of technological innovations on the growth of small and medium enterprises in Karnataka State in India.  (Project leader) Small firms, which account for a substantial proportion of India’s industrial sector not only in terms of number of units and employment but also in terms of production, value added and exports, have not sufficiently benefited from the 1991 economic reforms. Japan's industrial development process indicates that technological innovations enable small firms to acquire and enhance competitiveness and thereby facilitate their sustained growth.  As it is imperative to strengthen the small scale sector in India due to its important socio-economic contributions in the economy, the crucial question that is examined in this project is how effectively technological innovations have been instrumental to the growth of SMEs, as in the case of Japan's industrial development process. If not, why is it so. Further, there does not seem to be any significant literature in India, which has probed the influence/impact of technological innovations on the growth of SMEs., and this project is expected to fill this knowledge gap. The study was confined to the SMEs of manufacturing industry in Karnataka State, which is one of the pioneering States in the field of industrialization and the 'new economy'. This project was completed in 2007 with collaboration from Dr. M.H. Balasubramanya from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.


Self Help Group and Poverty Reduction in India: The case of Uttrakhand State in India.   In order to fight back poverty, the Central as well as States Governments in India have attempted a number of programs leading to income generation. In the case of programs with temporary employment can also lead to sustainable development if the resultant income could be deployed in profitable activity through self help groups (SHGs). As of 31 March 2007, the number of SHG linked to banks reached a level of 2.92 million as against an estimated all India population of 1.122 billion. The leading states in this movement include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, while the concentration of SHGs in Uttarakhand is thinner. In 2007, more than 25,000 SHGs were reported to be operative in Uttarakhand with outstanding loans in the order of Indian Rupees 5,761 crore.

               Whether the high concentration of SHGs in Andhra Pradesh, where almost every family appears to have been attached to this movement has led to any significant improvement in Poverty reduction was debatable because of incidents of high debt related suicide cases reported from rural Andhra Pradesh. Since the burden of loan per SHG was the highest in Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand was not much far behind, it was important to actually assess the effectiveness of SHG movement in Uttarakhand so that policy recommendations could be made to avoid deaths related to debts.

               Poor governance and weak implementation were the main causes of persistent poverty, backwardness and low human development in India. The case studies and the field survey in this study lead to similar conclusions. Therefore, there is a need to improve the system and it should be designed to take care of itself. This project was carried out from April 2007 to March 2009 with the funding from FASID. The collaborator for this study was Dr. Kanhaiya Singh, senior economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi, India.




M.Sc., M.litt, PhD

Expertise Areas

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation
  • International Economics and International Finance
  • Econometric and Statistical Methods


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