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Dilip Mookherjee | Ideas for India

Dilip Mookherjee
Boston University; IGC India Central
dilipm@bu.edu
Dilip Mookherjee teaches economics at Boston University, where he has been serving as Director of the Institute for Economic Development since 1998. He is currently President of BREAD, and Lead Academic of the India Central Programme of the International Growth Centre located at the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and has been recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal of the Indian Econometric Society. His current research interests are development economics, contract and organisation theory, and the Indian economy. Current projects include effectiveness of new forms of microfinance and provision of price information to farmers; land acquisition for industrialisation and compensation of displaced farmers; effects of reforms in bankruptcy and contract enforcement laws on credit markets; land reforms; deforestation; government accountability; decentralisation; trade middlemen and effects of globalisation; and theories of education, inequality and development.


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Articles By Dilip Mookherjee
Moving past the mandis: A revolution waiting to happen
Posted On: 20 Jan 2016

Topics:   Agriculture
Tags:   rural India

A revolution in agricultural marketing organisation in Gansu province in China led to a 50% increase in potato yields within the past 15 years. In this article, Dilip Mookherjee, Professor of Economics at Boston University, contends that the time is opportune for a similar transformation in agricultural marketing in India in order to increase outputs and farmers’ incomes.
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Transforming Indian agriculture: The role of credit policy
Posted On: 14 Dec 2015

Topics:   Finance , Agriculture

Despite various policy attempts at priority sector lending to poor farmers, very little progress has been made on the ground, suggesting problems in the design and implementation of these policies. In this article, Amartya Lahiri and Dilip Mookherjee and explore where the problem really lies and what can be done to address the issues.
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Response to the Bhagwati-Panagariya rejoinder on MNREGA
Posted On: 14 Dec 2014

Tags:   MNREGA

In a recent article, Abreu et al. refuted the Bhagwati-Panagariya argument for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. respond to claims in a rejoinder by Bhagwati-Panagariya, regarding net benefits of MNREGA employment, the self-selection feature of the programme, and rural asset creation.
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Financial inclusion for agricultural growth: An alternative approach
Posted On: 08 Dec 2014


Traditional, group-based microcredit has had limited success at enabling farmers to expand the cultivation of risky but profitable cash crops. Evidence suggests that this is mainly because of its mechanisms for borrower selection and enforcement of repayment. This column proposes a new approach that leverages local intermediaries and aligns their incentives with farmer profits, to generate better outcomes for agricultural production and incomes.
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(Mis)Leading attack on MNREGA
Posted On: 12 Nov 2014

Tags:   MNREGA

Bhagwati and Panagariya have argued for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. contend that the argument is based on inflating the costs of the programme and deflating the benefits. While they do not claim that all is well with MNREGA, they believe it needs better governance, not slow suffocation.
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MNREGA: Populist leaky bucket or successful anti-poverty programme?
Posted On: 28 May 2014

Tags:   MNREGA

MNREGA – the world’s largest workfare programme - formed the backbone of the UPA government’s anti-poverty programme, and may well represent its most important legacy in the long run. This column reviews various studies on its performance, and provides a perspective on its broader macroeconomic effects. It argues that while MNREGA was far from perfect in terms of implementation, it was much more effective than other existing schemes in benefitting the poor.
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Deforestation in the Himalayas: Myths and reality
Posted On: 10 Mar 2014

Topics:   Environment

It is widely believed that the extent of deforestation in developing countries is large and growing over time, and that this has significant adverse effects on local livelihoods. This column presents findings of a study of the mid-Himalayan region, and contends that forest degradation, not deforestation is the key problem. It discusses the determinants of degradation and what can be done to limit it.
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A ‘new’ land reform policy in India?
Posted On: 11 Oct 2013

Topics:   Land
Tags:   land reform

The Ministry of Rural Development has recently issued a draft of a new National Land Reform Policy. In this article, Dilip Mookherjee discusses the key features, and presents his views on the pros and cons of the draft policy.
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Turn Right or Left? Or is there a middle way?
Posted On: 25 Jul 2013

Topics:   Economic Growth

Dilip Mookherjee shares his perspective on the recent Bhagwati versus Sen debate. While Sen represents the pro-state-led assistance stand and Bhagwati is seen as pro-market, what India requires is the right combination of prescriptions from both camps to effectively combat poverty.
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The Land Acquisition Bill
Posted On: 26 Apr 2013

Topics:   Land

Will the new Land Acquisition Bill make protests like those in Singur and Bhatta-Parsaul a thing of the past? Will it make land acquisition so expensive and difficult that the pace of industrialisation will suffer? Will it achieve justice? Development? Neither? Experts from academia and industry examine a piece of legislation that is likely to have far reaching consequences for the future of the country.
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Economic policy agenda for India in 2013
Posted On: 02 Jan 2013


What should the priorities be for economic policymakers in India in the coming year? This column emphasises the need for greater transparency, and improved governance and regulation for reviving economic growth in 2013.
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Developing a Land Acquisition Policy for India
Posted On: 05 Sep 2012

Topics:   Land

The Land Acquisition Bill is a key piece of legislation under consideration in the Indian Parliament. This column argues that the current policy on compensating landowners, as proposed in the Bill, is misguided and could adversely affect the pace and character of future growth in India. It draws lessons from economic theory as well as the failed land acquisition experience in Singur to propose a workable model for determining appropriate compensation for land acquisition.
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