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Sandip Sukhtankar
Dartmouth University
sandip.sukhtankar@dartmouth.edu
Sandip Sukhtankar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College, an affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and a Giorgio Ruffalo Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School (2012-2013). Sukhtankar received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2009, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2000. His research focuses on corruption, governance, and the delivery of public benefits and services in India. Past projects have examined the political economy of sugarcane cooperatives and incentives for corruption in India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (NREGS). Current projects involve randomized experiments to evaluate the use of technology to deliver public services. His work has been published in academic journals such as the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics as well as the popular press such as the Indian Express.
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Articles By Sandip Sukhtankar
What do we know about corruption in India?
Posted On: 16 Sep 2015

Topics:   Corruption

Despite ample media coverage of corruption, there remains a gap between headline-making scandals, policy options under discussion, and the actual evidence base drawn from empirical research on corruption. Based on an extensive review of the literature on corruption in India, this column highlights the underlying factors driving corruption, establishes a classification of corrupt activities, and distills five general principles that should guide future reform efforts.
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Building state capacity for better programme implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme
Posted On: 03 Dec 2014


Biometric payment systems are posited to reduce leakages in public welfare programmes but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This column presents evidence on the impact of the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme on MNREGS and Social Security Pension beneficiaries, based on a large-scale randomised controlled trial. It finds substantial economic benefits, and concludes that using biometric payment infrastructure to deliver welfare payments can be a game changer for governance in India.
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Two questions about the 2G scandal
Posted On: 25 Mar 2013

Topics:   Corruption

The scandal involving corruption in the allocation of 2G licenses left the nation stunned. This column presents estimates of the revenue loss to the government, and says that while the common man was affected indirectly as social spending may have been reduced due to the losses, there was no direct negative impact on the telecom market in terms of lower quality of services or higher prices.
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Corruption and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
Posted On: 16 Jul 2012

Topics:   Corruption

Corruption continues to strangle India’s public finances. This column presents evidence of embezzlement in India’s flagship rural employment programme and suggests new ways policymakers can test what works in the struggle against corruption.
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