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This brief letter discusses conceptual problems that appeared in recent analysis of injected carrier dynamics in semiconductor quantum dots. It is pointed out that the frequently adopted approximation of neglecting the upward relaxation transitions severely restricts the validity of rate equations analysis. The proposed alternative approach with master equations for the transitions between microstates has, in principle, validity equivalent with conventional rate equations, but the presented form of equations neglects the upward transitions and has inaccurate expressions for the downward flow contributions. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.