Political Economy
 
The power of enforcement: State capacity and child marriage in India
Tanushree Goyal , Sam van Noort
Posted on: 24 Oct 2017
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In an attempt to deter child marriage, a recent Supreme Court verdict has criminalised sexual relations between a man and minor wife. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married before their 18th birthday, and one in three child brides are in India. Analysing data from the India Human Development Survey, this column demonstrates that strong State capacity can play a significant role in reducing child marriage.
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Political reservation and the quality of governance
Siwan Anderson , Patrick Francois
Posted on: 23 Oct 2017

Existing evidence suggests that while political reservation for traditionally marginalised groups tilts governance outcomes in favour of those groups, there are non-discernable or negative effects on the overall quality of governance. This column demonstrates that in a divided society like that of village India, where politics is organised along identity lines, reservation could indeed improve overall governance quality.
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GST Explainer: Introduction
Ashok Kotwal
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017

Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and services tax – was rolled out on 1 July 2017. Some consider the ‘one nation, one tax’ system to be a game changer; some are opposed to it; almost everyone has questions around its working and how it affects them. This explainer seeks to demystify the GST.
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Three barriers that make it hard for policymakers to use the evidence that development researchers produce
Michael Callen , Adnan Khan , Asim Ijaz Khwaja , Asad Liaqat , Emily Myers
Posted on: 20 Sep 2017
Topics:   Political Economy

There has been a surge in policy research globally over the past two decades that is geared to promote evidence-based policymaking. But can policymakers put this evidence to use? Based on a survey of civil servants in India and Pakistan, this column finds that simply presenting evidence to policymakers doesn’t necessarily improve their decision-making.
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Drawing the line: The short- and long-term consequences of partitioning India
Prashant Bharadwaj , Saumitra Jha
Posted on: 08 Sep 2017

Colonial rule in India culminated in the birth of two nations, forcing the displacement of millions. This column analyses the economic and political consequences of the Partition in 1947. It finds that differences in the distribution of education and organisational skills across communities and the extent to which communities and regions traded with each other, played a key role in shaping the bloody nature of the upheaval during the Partition itself, and its long-term consequences.
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Quota policies and career advancement: Evidence from Indian politics
Stephen D O'Connell
Posted on: 28 Aug 2017

Can quotas for women in politics induce institutional change in the long run? This column examines whether affirmative action for women in Indian local government had spillovers into state and national offices. It finds that reservations in local government may have been responsible for around half of the increase in female candidacy in parliamentary elections since 1991. However, female representation in higher offices remains low.
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Political decentralisation, female leadership, and health in rural Bihar
Santosh Kumar , Nishith Prakash
Posted on: 23 Aug 2017

Political decentralisation and female representation in governance are known to improve social welfare by influencing policy decisions in favour of women and children. Analysing data from rural Bihar, this column finds that having a female leader at the village council level has a strong positive association with institutional births, and child survival rates for richer households.
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The economic and political consequences of India’s demonetisation
Abhijit Banerjee , Namrata Kala
Posted on: 26 Jul 2017

The ruling party at the centre won the Uttar Pradesh state election despite its demonetisation policy having some negative economic impacts on the Indian economy. By combining primary data from surveys of wholesale and retail traders, with secondary data on wholesale markets, this column seeks to analyse why this was so.
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India’s slum leaders - II
Adam Auerbach , Tariq Thachil
Posted on: 21 Jul 2017

The second part of the two-part column on slum leaders discusses who these leaders are - their age, professions, and relationships with political parties - and how they build support within their communities.
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India’s slum leaders - I
Adam Auerbach , Tariq Thachil
Posted on: 20 Jul 2017

India’s demographic shift to cities has been accompanied by a number of pressing governance and developmental challenges, among the most serious of which is the rampant spread of slum settlements. Within these poor urban neighbourhoods, certain residents rise to prominent positions of local authority. Based on resident and leader surveys conducted during 2015-2016 in Jaipur and Bhopal, this two-part column provides insights on these informal slum leaders.

The first part focusses on the range of activities slum leaders perform for residents, and the ways in which leaders emerge from within their communities.

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