Research undertaken at the institute cuts across several themes and elaborates theoretical and methodological aspects in the areas of macroeconomics, micro economics, monetary economics, trade, agriculture, industry, poverty, employment, social infrastructure (education and health), human development and environment. Added emphasis has been laid on regional aspects of development with focus on Gujarat.
Institute's contribution to the studying of functioning of the regional economy has been noteworthy. Some aspects can be highlighted:
- Gujarat's input-output model related to mapping of flows between small scale and large scale manufacturing has received worldwide recognition. Industrial activities differentiated by scale were used for inter-scale linkages through sectoral studies.
- Different variants of the model incorporated household and public consumption, trade, etc. Spatial pattern of industrialization was given due attention and districts were aggregated into industrial homogenous regions.
- The role that different sectors play in a regional economy has been analyzed through exercises in consistency framework and industrial complex analysis. Total and sectoral employment generation potentials in the regional economy and for urban centers were estimated. Besides sector studies per se (Diamond, Jari, Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, etc.) have been undertaken.
- Sectoral growth rates and fluctuations over time were compared to the national economy and other states.
- Regional economy has also been cast in a long term perspective. Projection exercises were cast in framework of variation analysis. Gujarat 2000, Economic appraisal and Cost Benefit analysis of Sardar Sarovar project are rated as important contributions.
- Tertiary sector has also received significant importance. Recent study developed an input-output framework for analyzing the structural change in the Indian economy. The study sheds light on the effects of rising relative cost of services due to rapid rise of wages in sectors where technical progress is less apparent.