Good monsoon, bad test scores? Substituting away from schooling
Manisha Shah , Bryce Millett Steinberg
Posted on: 27 Jun 2017
Tags:   schooling

Good monsoons in India raise agricultural productivity and hence, bring added work and higher wages. Is this extra work at the expense of schooling for poor children? This column finds that increased household income benefits younger children as more can be invested in their human capital; however, older children may substitute away from schooling into domestic work, farm work, or wage labour, in response to higher wages.
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Economic benefits of transportation infrastructure: Historical evidence from India and America
Dave Donaldson
Posted on: 21 Jun 2017
Tags:   transport , US

Significant public finance is devoted to transportation infrastructure, the economic benefits of which are often unclear. This column analyses two major railroad projects in India and US in the 19th century. It finds that the economic gains from transportation infrastructure can be substantial, and the true economic impact may not be known until years after a project is completed.
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Understanding livelihood resilience in Bihar
Surya Bhushan , K. V. Raju
Posted on: 16 Jun 2017
Topics:   Finance
Tags:   Bihar

This column develops a livelihood resilience index including three key components – bio-physical, economic, and social resources – and estimates the index for districts in the state of Bihar.
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The demographic impact of extended paid maternity leave in Bangladesh
Salma Ahmed
Posted on: 14 Jun 2017
Topics:   Gender , Jobs

In March 2017, Indian Parliament passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 extending paid maternity leave to 26 weeks. This column analyses the impact of extension of paid maternity leave in Bangladesh in 2006 and 2010, on infant mortality, female labour force participation, and fertility rates.
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Impact of disinvestment policy on public sector enterprises in India
Ritika Jain
Posted on: 12 Jun 2017
Topics:   Political Economy

To address operational inefficiencies in PSEs without comprising on their social objectives, disinvestment policy is often used. However, there are concerns regarding the extent of impact on firm performance since disinvestment may involve transfer of ownership but not control. Analysing data from 1991-2010 on all manufacturing PSEs owned by the central government, this column shows that the average annual efficiency score of disinvested enterprises rose by almost 20%.
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Bank financing of stressed firms
Rajeswari Sengupta , Anjali Sharma
Posted on: 07 Jun 2017
Topics:   Finance

There is anecdotal evidence that banks in India have been extending credit to highly distressed firms. By delaying recognition of bad loans, banks may improve their own profitability in the short run, but in the long run, this has only exacerbated the non-performing asset crisis in the banking sector. This column provides preliminary empirical evidence that banks have indeed been throwing good money after bad.
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Juvenile delinquency and income disparity across Indian states
Nabamita Dutta , Dipparna Jana , Saibal Kar
Posted on: 05 Jun 2017
Topics:   Crime

The gravity and frequency of juvenile crime incidents in recent years point towards the urgent need for rigorous analysis of the issue. Based on data from Indian states, this column shows that juvenile crime tends to rise with rise in per-capita income – but at a diminishing rate. Further, higher levels of adult crime enhance the positive impact of per capita income on juvenile crime rates.
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How the American dream led to India’s IT boom
Gaurav Khanna , Nicolas Morales
Posted on: 29 May 2017

In the context of the ongoing global debate on migration policies, this column shows that the H-1B visa programme of the US had a powerful impact on the US IT sector, and played a prominent role in spreading the boom to India.
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Sacrificing consumption to mitigate catastrophic risks
Timothy Besley , Avinash Dixit
Posted on: 26 May 2017
Topics:   Environment

Many scientists agree that the probability of a rare environmental disaster increases as the stock of greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. This column asks how much consumption current generations should be willing to sacrifice to reduce the risk of such a future catastrophe. If there were a way of immediately eliminating the risk of all future catastrophes, society should be willing to sacrifice 16% of its consumption in perpetuity to achieve this. A sacrifice of 5.8% of annual consumption could bring about a 30% reduction in emissions, in line with the reductions contemplated in agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol.
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Hazards of farm loan waivers
Tanika Chakraborty , Aarti Gupta
Posted on: 23 May 2017

In theory, debt waivers are expected to induce the optimal level of effort from the debtor for loan repayment. However, repeated waivers may distort household expectations about credit contract enforcements in the future. This column analyses the effect of Uttar Pradesh’s state-level debt waiver programme – announced right after India’s nationwide Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme – on consumption and investment behaviour of households.
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