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Ashok Kotwal
GST Explainer: Introduction
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and ... read on »
Introducing a new feature: ‘Explainers’
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Our day-to-day lives are tossed around due to economic changes, resulting sometimes from g ... read on »
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »

Latest

Give women credit
Erica Field , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 23 Nov 2017
Topics:   Finance , Gender

Since its inception in the 1970s microfinance has emerged as an important tool to support livelihoods among those who lack access to traditional banking services, though the method has its critics. Erica Field and Rohini Pande carried out a series of experiments in India that have given insights into ways microfinance can be refined to strengthen its beneficial impact for the world’s poorest women.
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Improving nutritional outcomes through conditional cash transfers
Alok Kumar , Sneha Palit
Posted on: 22 Nov 2017
Topics:   Health

The Indian government plans to universalise the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – a conditional cash transfer programme for pregnant women and lactating mothers that aims to improve maternal and child health. In this context, this column presents findings from a pilot undertaken in Bihar to test the efficacy of conditional cash transfers to improve nutritional outcomes.
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Engaging the community to make schools accountable for delivering quality education
K. Vaijayanti
Posted on: 21 Nov 2017
Topics:   Education

While the dismal quality of primary education in India has received considerable attention at the state and national levels, rural communities still seem to associate school quality with parameters such as physical infrastructure. In this note, K. Vaijayanti describes an initiative in Karnataka that involves publicly-conducted mathematics tests for school children, to raise awareness regarding learning levels and to engage the community in holding schools accountable.
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Land records and titles in India
Prachee Mishra , Roopal Suhag
Posted on: 20 Nov 2017
Topics:   Land

Land ownership is broadly determined by access to a land title, which protects the rights of the title-holder, and impacts livelihoods, and industrial, economic, and social growth. However, land titles in India are unclear due to various reasons. In this article, Mishra and Suhag discuss those reasons, policies implemented to address poor land records, and challenges in moving towards a system of State-guaranteed titles.
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Fundamental errors in the voting booth margins
Edward Glaeser , Giacomo Ponzetto
Posted on: 17 Nov 2017
Tags:   democracy

Psychologists have long documented that we over-attribute people's actions to innate characteristics rather than to circumstances. This column shows that when we commit this ‘fundamental attribution error’ as voters; we over-ascribe politicians’ success to personal characteristics that merit re-election. Although this mistake can improve politicians’ incentives in ordinary times, the theory also explains lack of institutional reform and poor institutional choices, such as decreased demand for a free press and preferences for dictatorship.
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Indoor air pollution and stunting among Indian children
Anca Balietti , Prateek Mittal
Posted on: 15 Nov 2017
Topics:   Environment , Health

While the conversation on air quality has been focussed largely on outdoor air pollution, millions of deaths occur due to indoor air pollution as well. Based on 2005–2006 National Family Health Survey data, this column presents strong evidence that exposure to indoor air pollution from burning solid fuels increases the probability of stunting among children in India.
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Breaking the clientelist trap: Can reform create demand for good governance in Bihar?
Jonathan Phillips
Posted on: 14 Nov 2017
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   Bihar

How has over a decade of rapid and programmatic policy reform in Bihar affected voters? Based on a household survey comparing political attitudes of residents on either side of the Bihar-Jharkhand border, this column shows that Bihar’s policy reforms have raised voters’ expectations, but have not yet produced a fundamental change in their willingness to vote against clientelist politicians.
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Rags to riches? Understanding social mobility in India
Vegard Iversen , Anirudh Krishna , Kunal Sen
Posted on: 13 Nov 2017

To what extent is an individual’s status in society determined by the position of his or her parents? Analysing data from the Indian Human Development Survey, 2011-2012, this column finds that the probability of large intergenerational, occupational ascents in India is very low, and in fact, many face high risk of downward mobility.
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What did demonetisation do to domestic agricultural markets?
Nidhi Aggarwal , Sudha Narayanan
Posted on: 10 Nov 2017
Tags:  

When the note ban was announced a year ago, many feared that it would hit agriculture and informal sectors the hardest given the widespread use of cash for transacting in these sectors. Analysing data from 2,953 mandis across India for 35 major agricultural commodities for the period 2011-2017, this column finds that there are lingering impacts of demonetisation on farmers and adverse distributional consequences overall.
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Why Asian cities should become focal points for climate change mitigation
Naini Jayaseelan
Posted on: 09 Nov 2017
Tags:   pollution

In this article, Naini Jayaseelan, former Secretary, Environment, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, contends that mega cities in South and South-East Asia offer huge opportunities for climate change mitigation via improvements in efficiency in power, transport, and water and sanitation infrastructure.
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