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India’s Women’s Reservation Act: A big win for governance and beyond

Amidst debates about the recently passed women's reservation act and whether it will reduce gender disparities on the ground, Wattal and Gopalan summarise evidence from a number of randomised evaluati...

  • Perspectives

The state of Adivasi livelihoods after 75 years of planned development

Despite efforts to ensure their wellbeing, the Adivasi community remains one of the most deprived in India. In this post, Chaudhuri and Ghosh discuss the findings of a study surveying the livelihood s...

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Impact of the two-child limit for local politicians

Some Indian states debar individuals with more than two children from contesting local elections. This column finds that while the law has significantly reduced fertility among the general population...

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Gender-caste intersectionality in discrimination: Do patients care about doctor’s social identity?

Due to widespread prevalence of discrimination based on social identity, India provides a unique setting for studying caste-gender intersectionality in discrimination. Based on a field experiment in U...

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Urbanisation, gender, and social change: Role of the media in shaping women’s political preferences

What is the role of information sources in forming political preferences, and under what conditions do women have the cognitive agency to form political opinions distinct from men? To examine this, us...

  • Perspectives

Urbanisation, gender, and social change: Intra-marital hierarchies and perceptions about working mothers

Women in India spend thrice as much time doing unpaid domestic work compared to the men in their household, and twice as much time on care-giving activities for children and dependent adults. Based on...

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Urbanisation, gender, and social change: Women’s mobility in north India

Although India has experienced structural and social changes that promote gender equality in many respects, women’s physical mobility remains very low. Analysing primary data from three urban cluste...

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Urbanisation, gender, and social change: Why is female labour force participation so low in India?

India’s low female labour force participation is a complex social phenomenon, resulting from – among other things – patriarchal norms, rural-urban transitions, and a mismatch of supply and deman...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: Urbanisation, gender, and social change in north India

Urbanisation in India is reshaping established social and economic patterns of behaviour, in ways that scholars are yet to fully comprehend. India’s rapid urbanisation invites several pressing quest...

  • Symposium

Empowering women through participatory theatre

Twenty-nine percent of women in India report having suffered intimate-partner violence. Based on a field study involving 92 villages in the state of West Bengal, this article shows that community-base...

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Inter-gender and intra-gender gaps in land ownership in India

While women’s landownership is recognised as a key indicator of their economic empowerment, there are no detailed estimates of how many and which women own land in India. Analysing longitudinal data...

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Do promises work? Assessing long-term benefits of ‘Apni Beti Apna Dhan’ programme

During 1994-1998, the state government of Haryana ran a conditional cash transfer programme to address the issue of child marriage: at the time of a daughter’s birth, parents from marginalised secti...

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Is OBC reservation good for development?

The affirmative action debate has always been riddled by the question of merit versus social justice, and discussions around having a caste census have once again reignited the controversy around rese...

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Does access liberalise gender norms around phone use for rural women?

Despite improved connectivity, deep-rooted gender norms continue to shape access to and use of mobile technologies by women in India. This note discusses preliminary findings from a study, which sugge...

  • Notes from the Field

Measuring caste inequality across Indian states

Although recent research on inequality shows that upper castes have the highest levels of material well-being, there is a wide variation in caste inequality across India. Measuring three forms of cast...

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Duncan Webb

Princeton University


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Aix Marseille School of Economics


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University of British Columbia


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Ashoka University


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Indian Institute of Management Indore


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Deputy Managing Editor, I4I


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Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3)


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Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3)

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Most Popular Social Identity Posts

A division of labourers: Caste identity and efficiency in India

Castes in India are closely associated with certain occupations and determine the jobs done by millions. This study uses a new dataset to show that a large proportion of workers still work in their ca...

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Hindu-Muslim fertility differentials in India: An update

Building on past research, Saswata Ghosh and Pallabi Das estimate the state- and district-level fertility differentials between Hindus and Muslims using data from the latest round of the NFHS. They sh...

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Sex ratios and religion in India and South Asia

In South Asia, low child sex ratios are increasingly an isolated Indian phenomenon. Within India, child sex ratios are ‘normal’ among Christians and Muslims but much lower among Hindus, Sikhs, and...

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