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 »


Can the female sarpanch deliver? Evidence from Maharashtra
Mithila Biniwale , Stephan Klasen , Jan Priebe , Dhanmanjiri Sathe
Posted on: 23 Oct 2016

One-third of all seats in village councils are reserved for women. The government has proposed an increase in quota to 50%, and in the period of reservation from five to 10 years. Based on a survey conducted in Maharashtra, this column finds that availability of basic public services for women is better in female-headed villages - when the female head has been in the job for 3-3.5 years.
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Universal basic income for India
Vijay Joshi
Posted on: 21 Oct 2016

In this article, Vijay Joshi, Emeritus Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford, sets out his proposal for a universal basic income (UBI) in India. He contends that 'deep fiscal adjustment', in combination with UBI, would make a huge positive difference to the lives of people, present and future, and provide an essential underpinning for the acceptability of radical economic reform.

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Nobel prize in Economics 2016: The economy as a nexus of contracts
Maitreesh Ghatak
Posted on: 19 Oct 2016
Tags:   management

An important line of research in microeconomics has tried to explain how the economic institutions that underpin the ‘invisible hand of the market’ actually work. The specific economic institution that Hart and Holmström focus on is contracts. In a tribute to the Nobel laureates, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, discusses the working and importance of contract theory.
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Nobel insights: When it comes to contracts, what’s obvious may not be optimal
Rohini Somanathan
Posted on: 18 Oct 2016

In a tribute to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström, recipients of this year’s Nobel prize in Economics, Rohini Somanathan, Professor of Economics at Delhi School of Economics, outlines their contributions.
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Are grain procurement shocks inflationary?
Chetan Ghate , Sargam Gupta , Debdulal Mallick
Posted on: 17 Oct 2016

Central banks in emerging markets grapple with understanding the inflationary impact of grain procurement shocks because the precise link between the agriculture sector and the rest of the economy may not be well understood. This column presents a framework to understand how the government’s grain procurement policy in India can be inflationary, and what the appropriate monetary policy response should be.
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Understaffed, underserved: Human problems of India’s public health system
Prateek Mittal , Vartika Singh
Posted on: 13 Oct 2016
Topics:   Health

India’s progress in reducing infant and maternal mortality is rather slow. This column shows the extent of shortfall of gynaecologists and auxiliary nurse midwives - the frontline of the battle against infant and maternal mortality – across health facilities in the country. It argues that along with absenteeism in public services, vacancies is a crucial area that requires improvement.
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Poverty reduction in India: Revisiting past debates with 60 years of data
Gaurav Datt , Rinku Murgai , Martin Ravallion
Posted on: 10 Oct 2016

There has been much debate about the poverty impacts of economic growth and structural transformation in developing countries. This column revisits these issues using a newly constructed dataset of poverty measures for India spanning 60 years. There has been a downward trend in poverty measures since 1970, with an acceleration post-1991, despite rising inequality. Post-1991 data suggest stronger inter-sectoral linkages. Urban consumption growth came with gains to both the rural and urban poor. The primary/secondary/tertiary composition of growth has ceased to matter, as all three sectors contributed to poverty reduction.
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Whither female disadvantage? An analysis of private school enrolment in India
Pushkar Maitra , Sarmistha Pal , Anurag Sharma
Posted on: 07 Oct 2016
Topics:   Gender

Given the poor condition of government schools and the perceived efficiency of private schools, Indian parents are increasingly choosing to send their children to private schools. This column examines private school enrolment among 7-18 year olds during 2005-2012 and finds a systematic and pervasive female disadvantage.
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Banning commercial surrogacy in India
Ajit Karnik
Posted on: 05 Oct 2016

In an attempt to protect the welfare of surrogate mothers, the Indian government has proposed to introduce legislation that will ban commercial surrogacy in the country. In this article, Ajit Karnik, Professor of Economics, Middlesex University, Dubai, discusses the threats that are associated with the welfare of surrogate mothers and argues that a ban would compromise their interests further as it would inevitably lead to the emergence of an illegal market for such transactions.
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The hidden productivity benefits of energy-saving technology: Evidence from LEDs in Indian factories
Achyuta Adhvaryu , Namrata Kala , Anant Nyshadham
Posted on: 03 Oct 2016

Energy-efficient technologies are an increasingly relevant policy priority, given growing consensus on the need to tackle climate change. This column examines the productivity benefits of adopting one such technology – LED lighting – for manufacturing firms in India. It finds that improved productivity resulting from LED lighting’s lower heat emissions makes adopting such technology far less costly than previous anticipated, particularly for labour-intensive firms in hot climates.
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