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Ashok Kotwal
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
First, I would like to direct readers to a piece by Robert Solow – a Nobel Laureate a ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
The recent parliamentary election may well turn out to be a significant event in Indi ... read on »
The challenge of fulfilling aspirations
Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »

Latest

Water quality awareness and behaviour change
Gauri Kartini Shastry , Pinar Keskin , Hannah Ruebeck
Posted on: 28 Jul 2016
Topics:   Health

Universal access to clean water is far from a reality in many developing countries. This column examines a nationwide information campaign that attempted to minimise the use of arsenic-contaminated tubewells in Bangladesh. It finds that mothers in arsenic-contaminated areas are more likely to exclusively breastfeed their children, and breastfeed for longer after the campaign - likely out of concern for child well-being. It also finds that infant health improves.
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W(h)ither the State? 25 years of economic liberalisation
Parikshit Ghosh
Posted on: 26 Jul 2016
Topics:   Political Economy

24 July 2016 marked 25 years of liberalisation of the Indian economy. In this article, Parikshit Ghosh, Associate Professor of Economics at Delhi School of Economics, contends that liberalisation did not mean the State should wither away and let markets rule the roost; it redefined complementary roles for the State and markets, making each more important than before.
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Does good governance reduce foodgrain diversion in PDS?
Sohini Paul
Posted on: 24 Jul 2016

In 2011-12, various states undertook measures to curb leakages of foodgrains from the Public Distribution System. Some of the pioneer states also implemented the National Food Security Act - a rights-based approach to food security - in 2013. Against the backdrop of these reforms, this column analyses whether there is any marked difference in the leakage pattern of foodgrains across states.
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Public sector banks: The more things change, the more they stay the same
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 21 Jul 2016
Tags:   banking

Banks Board Bureau has been set up to help the government appoint heads of public sector banks (PSBs) and to advise on important issues in banking. In this article, Gurbachan Singh asks basic questions – what is the rationale for PSBs? Was there a rationale for the nationalisation of banks even in 1969? In his view, privatisation is needed but as a second-best solution, meaningful autonomy can be useful.
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Land and financial misallocation in India
Gilles Duranton , Ejaz Ghani , Arti Grover Goswami , William Kerr
Posted on: 20 Jul 2016

Optimising the allocation of factors of production – land, capital and labour - improves productivity. In India, where evidence suggests land is severely misallocated to inefficient manufacturing firms, access to financing is disproportionately tied to access to land. This column examines the link between the misallocation of land and access to capital through financial markets. A very strong positive correlation emerges between the two, consistent with the fact that land and buildings can provide strong collateral support for accessing finance from the credit market.
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Inflation targeting: A long way to go
Rajeswari Sengupta
Posted on: 18 Jul 2016

The Finance Bill, 2016, amended the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934, to define inflation targeting as the primary objective of the central bank. In this article, Rajeswari Sengupta, Assistant Professor at IGIDR, contends that to actually become an inflation-targeting central bank, RBI will need to undertake a series of reforms to build institutional capabilities and improve the monetary policy transmission mechanism.
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When does politics work for development?
Saad Gulzar , Ben Pasquale
Posted on: 15 Jul 2016
Topics:   Political Economy

Political interference in the bureaucracy is generally viewed with suspicion. Yet, in a democracy, should we not expect politicians to push bureaucrats to work for the best interests of citizens? This column shows that bureaucrats implement MNREGA much better in places where politicians are able to claim credit for improvements. This is good news for democratic accountability, and carries important implications for the design of development programmes.
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Improved cooking stoves in India: Evaluating long-run impacts
Esther Duflo , Michael Greenstone , Rema Hanna , Claire Walsh
Posted on: 13 Jul 2016
Topics:   Environment , Health

Improved cooking stoves are increasingly seen as an important technology to address indoor air pollution. While laboratory experiments have shown that they could have big effects on smoke exposure and emissions, this column finds limited long-run health and environmental impacts of an improved cooking stove programme in Odisha. This indicates the importance of testing interventions in real-world conditions taking into account willingness to pay, usage, and changes over time.
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India’s housing situation
Roshan Kishore
Posted on: 11 Jul 2016
Topics:   Infrastructure
Tags:   real estate

The ‘Housing for all’ scheme was launched by the Government of India in June 2015, with the objective of constructing 20 million houses for the urban poor by 2022. In this article, Roshan Kishore, data journalist at Mint newspaper, presents five charts representing the current state of India’s housing sector.
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Maternity entitlements for healthier babies
Diane Coffey , Payal Hathi
Posted on: 07 Jul 2016
Topics:   Gender , Health

The National Food Security Act, 2013 provides for a maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 for every pregnant and lactating mother in India. In this article, Coffey and Hathi explain why maternity entitlements are a good investment, and discuss how they should be designed to have the biggest impact on the health and productivity of the next generation.
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