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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...

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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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Beyond leaky pipes: Fixing enrolment systems of welfare schemes

Policy initiatives of JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar, Mobile numbers) trinity and direct benefit transfer focus on unclogging the supply of benefits under welfare schemes by reducing payment leakages....

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Angus Deaton's ideas for India

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economics, Diane Coffey and Dean Spears – former graduate students of Prof. Deaton at Princeton University – review some of his work on th...

  • Perspectives

The coexistence of prosperity and poverty in India

Credit Suisse recently reported that the richest 10% Indians own about 75% of the country’s wealth, highlighting the growing problem of inequality. This column presents trends in inequality in Indi...

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Angus Deaton: The real world economist

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, outlines Deaton’s contribution to econ...

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Can microcredit improve food security among the rural poor?

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 parti...

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Are self-help groups helpful?

While a lot of funding goes towards community-driven development projects, rigorous evidence on their socioeconomic impact is limited. This column evaluates the impact of JEEViKA – a rural liveliho...

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Income inequality in India: Trends from the World Top Incomes Database

Given the lack of reliable wage or asset data, tax returns-based World Top Incomes Database is important for measuring income and wealth inequalities. Analysing the India series of the database, this...

  • Articles

A symposium on Piketty - II: Capitalist dynamics and the plutocrats

In the last part of the series on Piketty, Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, discusses the implications for further study that Piketty’s book has for devel...

  • Perspectives

A symposium on Piketty: Introduction

Thomas Piketty’s book on ´Capital in the Twenty First Century’ has made waves. The fact that a 700-odd page tome full of numbers and graphs can become an international bestseller is itself notewo...

  • Symposium

A symposium on Piketty - I: Nit-Piketty

In this part of the series on Piketty, Debraj Ray, Professor of Economics, New York University, attempts to clear the confusion caused by the theoretical discussion in Piketty’s book.

  • Perspectives

Private investment and income disparity across Indian states

Liberalisation reforms in India in the 1990s offered private investors the freedom to choose their investment location in the country. This column finds that income disparity across low-income states...

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Big and small ideas in development economics: Theory, evidence and practice

Karthik Muralidharan, Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego speaks with Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank and former Chief Economic A...

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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?

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