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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Price risk and poverty
Lucie Gadenne , Sam Norris , Monica Singhal , Sandip Sukhtankar
Posted on: 15 May 2017

There is an ongoing policy debate in India on whether grain entitlements under PDS should be converted into cash transfers. This column shows that in the face of high price variability, in-kind transfers such as the PDS can be superior to cash transfers as they could significantly reduce the strength of the relationship between prices and caloric intake, hence, shielding households from price risk.
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When windmills tilt: The FRBM debate
Pronab Sen
Posted on: 08 May 2017

In this article, Dr Pronab Sen presents his views on the ongoing debate on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.
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Leaving stunting behind: Evidence from ethnic Indians in England
Caterina Alacevich , Alessandro Tarozzi
Posted on: 27 Apr 2017
Topics:   Health

Despite impressive rates of economic growth in recent decades, India remains one of the worst-performing countries worldwide in terms of height, among children and adults. This column shows that height gaps exist, although decline substantially, among adult immigrants of Indian ethnicity in England, while virtually disappearing among their young children.
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Land acquisition and corporate investment: Legacy of historical land ceiling legislations?
Sarmistha Pal , Tiago Pinheiro , Zoya Saher
Posted on: 23 Apr 2017
Topics:   Land

Firms in India often find it difficult to purchase land, resulting in projects being delayed, relocated, or cancelled. Analysing firm- and state-level data, this column explores the impact of post-independence land reforms – especially those related to land ceilings - on corporate investment in the country.
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Consumption spikes and election days
Shabana Mitra , Anirban Mitra , Arnab Mukherji
Posted on: 20 Apr 2017
Topics:   Political Economy

There is ample anecdotal evidence on political parties bribing voters with cash or consumption goods prior to elections, in India and other developing countries. However, there is an expected lack of hard evidence on the extent and form of vote-buying. Using data from Indian states, this column analyses consumption patterns of households around elections, and finds a spike for some items just before elections.
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The decline of rural earnings inequality in India
Deepti Goel , Shantanu Khanna , René Morissette
Posted on: 05 Apr 2017

While earnings inequality remained virtually unchanged in urban India between 2004-05 and 2011-12, it declined sharply in rural India over this period. This column finds that although the change in the distribution of education among paid workers had an inequality-increasing effect, there was a net decline in rural inequality because returns to increased levels of education improved more for low-earning workers than high-earning ones.
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Highway network designs and regional economic development
Simon Alder
Posted on: 03 Apr 2017
Topics:   Infrastructure

The Indian National Highway Development Project and its components such as the Golden Quadrilateral or the North-South and East-West corridors are planned to alleviate constraints due to insufficient transport infrastructure. This column compares the effects of the Golden Quadrilateral with a counterfactual highway network that is designed to approximately maximise national income while connecting all intermediate-sized cities.
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Holy wars? Temple desecrations in medieval India
Sriya Iyer , Anand Shrivastava , Rohit Ticku
Posted on: 27 Mar 2017
Topics:   Conflict
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The rise of extremist groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic State, and their destruction of religious relics, have led some to magnify the presence of religious bigotry in Islamic societies. Using a unique, geocoded dataset this column tests two predominant narratives of Hindu temple desecrations in medieval India. It finds that whether a temple was located in a Muslim State had no bearing on the likelihood of its desecration; rather, desecrations were primarily determined by Hindu-Muslim battle outcomes.
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The North-South urban paradox
Chinmay Tumbe
Posted on: 22 Mar 2017
Topics:   Urbanisation

Why is northern India experiencing faster urban growth but slower urbanisation relative to the South? This column addresses this question by highlighting the interconnection between the demographic transition and urban processes in India.
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