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Poverty & Inequality

Introduction to e-Symposium: Estimation of poverty in India

Estimates of poverty in India put forth in two papers published earlier this year – by Bhalla, Bhasin and Virmani; and Roy and van der Weide – have sparked the “Great Indian Poverty Debate 2.0...

  • Symposium

The post-pandemic global inequality boomerang

Global inequality has fallen over the last three decades, despite a rise in inequality within some countries. This article uses a World Bank database covering the years 1981-2019 to posit that the dec...

  • Articles

Examining Himachal’s urban employment guarantee

Despite proposals by economists on the need for an urban work programme in India, a national-level policy seems some time away from coming to fruition. However, some states have implemented such progr...

  • Notes from the Field
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MNREGA, 10 years on: Glass half-full or half-empty?

In this article, Kunal Sen, Professor of Development Economics and Policy at the University of Manchester, evaluates whether MNREGA has achieved its broader development objectives. He further analyses...

  • Perspectives

MNREGA: Technology vs. technocracy

In this article, Reetika Khera, Associate Professor of Economics at IIT Delhi, argues that for MNREGA to flourish in the future, technologies that empower workers should be encouraged, and the tenden...

  • Perspectives

Four key administrative reforms to strengthen MNREGA

In this article, Ashwini Kulkarni of NGO Pragati Abhiyan, discusses four key administrative reforms that can strengthen the implementation of MNREGA, and enable the programme to fulfill its objectives...

  • Perspectives

MNREGA: Vision and reality

In this article, Martin Ravallion, Professor of Economics at Georgetown University, contends that the main proximate reason for MNREGA’s disappointing performance is that many people in poor areas ...

  • Perspectives

MNREGA and its assets

Critics of MNREGA believe that the programme is a dole to dig a hole and hence, a huge waste of resources and that it would be better to simply provide cash. In this article, Sudha Narayanan, Associa...

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How has MNREGA impacted the lives of women and children in India?

In this article, Subha Mani, Professor of Economics at Fordham University, summarises evidence that shows that MNREGA has mostly positively impacted the lives of women and children in India.

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Introduction to e-Symposium: 10 years of MNREGA and the way forward

India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – the largest public works programme in the world – completed a decade in February 2016. As a contribution to the discussions, ...

  • Symposium

MNREGA's impact on rural labour markets

In this article, Laura Zimmermann, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia, provides an overview of the research on the impact of the initial phase of MNREGA on rural labour mark...

  • Articles

Access to information and the poor

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recently ruled against charging different subscribers different prices for data services. In this article, Martin Ravallion, Edmond D. Villani Chair of Econom...

  • Perspectives

Bringing global evidence into the MNREGA discourse

MNREGA – the largest public works programme in the world – completed 10 years this month. In this article, Inayat Anaita Sabhikhi, Project Officer, United Nations Development Programme, at the Min...

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From the top to the bottom of MNREGA

MNREGA – the world’s largest public works programme - is intended to be demand-driven and has local implementation at its core. In this note, Megan Sheahan, Research Support Specialist at Cornell...

  • Notes from the Field

Against the tide: Deaton's economics

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, Reetika Khera, who did her post-doctorate research at Princeton University under Deaton, outlines his India-specific cont...

  • Perspectives

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Wealth inequality, class, and caste in India: 1961-2012

The level of wealth inequality in India is close to that of some highly unequal countries in the world. This article assesses the long-term evolution of wealth inequality in the country for the period...

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Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

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EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

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