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Ashok Kotwal
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 »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016
The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught o ... read on »
Debate: The Aadhaar Bill
Posted on: 02 May 2016
In a debate on the Aadhaar Bill, commentators from academia and civil society will ... read on »

Tag: Bangladesh

The demographic impact of extended paid maternity leave in Bangladesh
Salma Ahmed
Posted on: 14 Jun 2017
Topics:   Gender , Jobs


In March 2017, Indian Parliament passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 extending paid maternity leave to 26 weeks. This column analyses the impact of extension of paid maternity leave in Bangladesh in 2006 and 2010, on infant mortality, female labour force participation, and fertility rates.
read on »

Smart policy for women’s economic empowerment in South Asia
Nalini Gulati , Jennifer Johnson
Posted on: 18 Apr 2017
Topics:   Gender , Jobs


In this article, Jennifer Johnson and Nalini Gulati highlight the different trajectories of women’s economic empowerment across South Asia, based on a recent policy dialogue hosted by Evidence for Policy Design.

Tweet using #womenandwork

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Demand for environmental quality information and household response to information: Evidence from Bihar
Prabhat Barnwal , Chander Kumar Singh , Alexander van Geen , Jan von der Goltz
Posted on: 20 Feb 2017
Topics:   Environment , Health


Groundwater contaminated with arsenic is a serious public health threat in rural India. This column presents results from a field experiment conducted in Bihar to assess the demand for fee-based testing of wells for arsenic, and to study the behavioural responses of households to well-specific arsenic information.
read on »

Water quality awareness and behaviour change
Pinar Keskin , Hannah Ruebeck , Gauri Kartini Shastry
Posted on: 28 Jul 2016
Topics:   Health


Universal access to clean water is far from a reality in many developing countries. This column examines a nationwide information campaign that attempted to minimise the use of arsenic-contaminated tubewells in Bangladesh. It finds that mothers in arsenic-contaminated areas are more likely to exclusively breastfeed their children, and breastfeed for longer after the campaign - likely out of concern for child well-being. It also finds that infant health improves.
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Quality of governance and welfare outcomes
Salma Ahmed , Ranjan Ray
Posted on: 27 Apr 2016
Topics:   Political Economy


As the MDGs gave way to the SDGs, considerable attention has been focussed on movements in key welfare indicators for women and children in the past decade. In this context, this column compares India with Bangladesh, and also looks at the relative performance of Indian states. Further, it provides evidence on the strength of association between the quality of governance and welfare outcomes in India.
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Data-jam: Could data reduce road congestion in Dhaka?
Filippo Sebastio
Posted on: 01 Feb 2016
Topics:   Urbanisation


While urbanisation is key to economic growth, failure to address the downsides of the process - such as congestion - may deter the ability of cities to achieve their full growth potential. This column examines the challenges of road congestion in Dhaka, and explores the potential for traffic data to uncover evidenced-based policy designs that can effectively mitigate the problem.
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Can microcredit improve food security among the rural poor?
Asad Islam , Chandana Maitra , Debayan Pakrashi , Russell Smyth
Posted on: 28 Sep 2015

A core objective of microcredit in Bangladesh is to make the rural poor more food secure. To what extent has this been achieved? Analysing household data from Bangladesh, this column finds that participants of microcredit programmes are more food secure, with improved calorie availability, reduced child stunting and better maternal nutritional status. However, programme participation in itself does not improve dietary diversity.
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Religion and health in early childhood: Evidence from South Asia
Elizabeth Brainerd , Nidhiya Menon
Posted on: 03 Jul 2015
Topics:   Health


The widespread malnutrition of children in South Asia is persistent and troubling. Given the importance of religion in the region, this column examines the relationship between inequalities in child health and religious identity across India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It finds a consistent trend of Muslim advantage in infancy, vis-à-vis Hindus, and its reversal after 12 months of age across the three countries.
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Encouraging household investment in sanitation
Raymond Guiteras , James Levinsohn , Mushfiq Mobarak
Posted on: 13 May 2015
Topics:   Health


While the detrimental effects of poor sanitation are widely known, there is disagreement about the key barriers to expanding improved sanitation coverage. This column presents results from a field experiment in Bangladesh that designs, implements and tests a range of sanitation marketing strategies. It finds that cost is the primary barrier to adoption, and that investment decisions are interlinked across neighbours.
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Increasing tax compliance through social recognition
Mushfiq Mobarak
Posted on: 15 Sep 2014
Topics:   Finance


To enhance government revenues, it is important to tackle the menace of tax evasion. This column discusses an experiment that tests whether sharing a firm’s tax compliance status with neighbouring firms and/ or providing social recognition for compliance helps increase compliance. It finds that these interventions do bring about a positive behavioural change, but only for non-compliant firms in areas where some firms were already complying.
read on »

Trade as aid
Ivan Cherkashin , Svetlana Demidova , Hiau Looi Kee , Kala Krishna
Posted on: 09 Jun 2014
Topics:   Trade


Preferential or duty/quota-free trade access to developing countries, as a form of foreign aid by developed countries, is considered to have both pros and cons. This column analyses data from Bangladesh’s apparel industry to show that it not only leads to gains for the access granting and access receiving countries, but also trade creation for the rest of the world.
read on »

Religion, minority status and trust
Minhaj Mahmud , Pushkar Maitra , Ananta Neelim
Posted on: 14 May 2014
Topics:   Conflict


A key factor that drives segmentation in societies is group identities along various dimensions. This column seeks to understand the effects of identity on individual behaviour. Based on an artefactual field experiment on Hindus and Muslims in India and Bangladesh, it finds that it is minority/ majority status based on religion, rather than religion in itself, that dictates trust behaviour of individuals.
read on »

Reducing poisoning by arsenic in tubewell water
Chander Kumar Singh , Alexander van Geen
Posted on: 11 Mar 2013
Topics:   Health , Environment


Millions of tubewells across the Indo-Gangetic plain supply drinking water that is relatively free of microbial contaminants. However, many of these tubewells tap groundwater that is high in arsenic and should be used only for washing. This column explores a new approach to field testing in order to distinguish safe from unsafe wells, and suggests that people are willing to pay for tubewell testing.
read on »

Creating entrepreneurs: A big new idea in development
Oriana Bandiera , Robin Burgess , Imran Rasul
Posted on: 07 Jan 2013

Can the world’s poorest people become entrepreneurs? This column outlines results from an evaluation of the Ultra Poor programme in Bangladesh, a scheme that the NGO behind it claims is a staggering success.
read on »

Why some poverty-fighting programmes show no net impact
Jonathan Morduch , Shamika Ravi
Posted on: 16 Oct 2012

An increasingly popular way to tackle acute poverty is ‘targeting the ultra-poor’. The scheme provides not only money but also training and support and has been hailed a huge success in its origin country Bangladesh. But this column evaluates a copycat scheme in southern India and finds that the gains are met by losses elsewhere and that, overall, the effect is minimal.
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How to keep more girls in school? Lessons from Bangladesh
Mushfiq Mobarak
Posted on: 24 Sep 2012
Topics:   Education , Gender


For years developing countries have been trying to increase parents’ incentives to send their children, particularly girls, to school and keep them there. This column looks at the success of Bangladesh, where the number of girls in school now exceeds the number of boys. It argues that money talks – but it’s the money that educated children will earn once they leave school that talks loudest.
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