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Ashok Kotwal
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
First, I would like to direct readers to a piece by Robert Solow – a Nobel Laureate a ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
The recent parliamentary election may well turn out to be a significant event in Indi ... read on »
The challenge of fulfilling aspirations
Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »

Latest

Growth and inequality: The contrasting stories of India and Brazil
Alexandre de Freitas Barbosa , Gerry Rodgers
Posted on: 29 Jun 2015
Tags:   Brazil

The development paths of India and Brazil are, in some ways, mirror images of one another. While growth and inequality were both high in Brazil until 1980 and then declined – first growth declined in the 1980s, and later inequality – the reverse is true for India. This column compares the experiences of the two countries, examining their patterns of growth and inequality and the factors that underpin them.
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Using science to improve Indian agriculture
Robert S. Zeigler
Posted on: 26 Jun 2015

Five years ago, the Indian government imposed a ‘temporary’ moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal – a genetically modified crop - even after it had passed through the due regulatory processes. In this article, Robert S Zeigler, a plant pathology expert, outlines the benefits of transgenic crops and emphasises the need to expedite their adoption in India.
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Clearing the fog on the new GDP numbers
Saugata Bhattacharya
Posted on: 24 Jun 2015
Topics:   Economic Growth
Tags:   GDP , data

The Central Statistics Office recently changed the way GDP is calculated in India, revising the growth estimate for 2013-14 from 4.7% to 6.9%. Many are confused and skeptical about the new numbers, partly owing to a perceived mismatch between the higher growth and underperformance of other economic indicators. In this article, Saugata Bhattacharya, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Axis Bank, contends that a credible economic rationale underlines the new methodology. He demonstrates that corporate data are consistent with the national accounts estimates, and this has a bearing on future growth expectations
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Do ruling coalition-affiliated MLAs bring more development to their constituencies?
Samuel Asher , Paul Novosad
Posted on: 22 Jun 2015

Despite the dismantling of the License Raj in the 1990s, interaction with government officials remains an important impediment to doing business in India. This column analyses the role of politics in determining which regions succeed and fail, and finds that MLAs from ruling parties make it easier for firms to do business in their constituencies. They do so not by providing public goods, but by helping firms clear bureaucratic hurdles that would otherwise hinder their operations.
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Women’s empowerment and child malnutrition in rural India
Samuel Annim , Raghav Gaiha , Katsushi Imai , Veena S. Kulkarni
Posted on: 19 Jun 2015
Topics:   Gender , Health

Research has found mother’s empowerment to have a positive impact on the nutrition status of their children. This column analyses this relationship for data from rural India for the period 1992-2006. Among other factors, it highlights the importance of mother’s education in relation to father’s education in determining children’s nutrition.
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A symposium on Piketty - II: Capitalist dynamics and the plutocrats
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 17 Jun 2015

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 developing countries such as India. He emphasises the need for collecting more serious information on wealth ownership in India.
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A symposium on Piketty – I: Nit-Piketty
Debraj Ray
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015

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.
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A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Ashok Kotwal
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015

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 noteworthy. It may be a testament to the concern that people have over the growing inequality within developed countries. What is startling is its claim that the developed world may be gravitating to the pattern of wealth distribution based on inheritance that characterised the pre-modern world. The contribution this book has made in putting together historical data that clearly indicate the trend of growing inequality is truly monumental. However, the notion that the crux of the matter is the fact that the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of income growth may be confusing even to well-trained economists. Our motivation in putting together this symposium on Piketty’s book is to clarify the ideas in this important book on the burning issue of the day – ‘growing inequality’.
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Reining in gold imports
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 12 Jun 2015
Tags:   imports , RBI

In an attempt to reduce gold imports, the Indian government has proposed three new schemes – gold monetisation, sovereign gold bonds, and domestic production of branded gold coins. In this article, Prof. Gurbachan Singh diagnoses the market failure and government failure involved in large gold imports, and provides a broad perspective on the issue. He examines the potential effectiveness of the schemes, and suggests policy alternatives.
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Citizens’ trust in local politicians and implications for good governance
Lata Gangadharan , Tarun Jain , Pushkar Maitra , Joseph Vecci
Posted on: 10 Jun 2015
Topics:   Political Economy

The new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, after a prolonged movement by the people of Telangana region for a separate state. Based on field experiments among citizens in the two successor states, this column finds greater trust in politicians in Andhra relative to Telangana, which may facilitate effective functioning of the State and signal citizens’ expectations from the government.
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