Ashok Kotwal
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 »
I4I turns 1!
Posted on: 06 Aug 2013
It has been a year since the voice of ‘Ideas for India’ was first heard. Our mission was t ... read on »


International trade, domestic labour laws and India’s manufacturing sector
Devashish Mitra
Posted on: 21 Sep 2014
Topics:   Jobs , Trade

India has a multitude of restrictive labour laws and these have been found to adversely affect economic performance of manufacturing firms. This column illustrates how the impact of trade liberalisation on the domestic manufacturing sector depends on labour laws. It contends that more flexible labour laws will enable India to compete better in global markets.
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In lieu of the Planning Commission: Part II
Chandrajit Banerjee
Posted on: 19 Sep 2014

In this post, Chandrajit Banerjee - Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - provides his perspective on some of the issues involved in replacing the Planning Commission. In his view, Five Year Plans can be dispensed with, while the function of fund allocation across levels of government and ministries can be undertaken by the Ministry of Finance. He suggests having a group of private sector advisors that can provide feedback to the new body.
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Where has all the education in India gone?
Scott Fulford
Posted on: 18 Sep 2014
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

The average years of education per Indian citizen have significantly increased since independence. This column analyses whether the increase in education has led to higher material wellbeing overall. It finds that the increase in education has produced disappointingly small increases in household consumption. The reason appears to be that very few men and hardly any women are in salary employment where the value of extra education is high.
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The youngest are hungriest
Seema Jayachandran , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 17 Sep 2014
Topics:   Health , Gender

Babies born in India are more likely to be stunted than those in sub-Saharan Africa, even though the former are better off on average. This column examines how the India-Africa height gap varies by birth order within the family and finds that it begins with the second-born and becomes more pronounced with each subsequent baby. Favouritism toward firstborn sons in India explains this trend.
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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.
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In lieu of the Planning Commission: Part I
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 11 Sep 2014

The Indian government plans to replace the Planning Commission with a more contemporary think tank. Over the next few weeks, we will present views of experts from various stakeholder groups – private sector, civil society, academia, media and the government – on what should be the character and functions of the new body.

In this post, Pranab Bardhan – Professor of Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley – provides a perspective on some of the issues involved in replacing the Planning Commission. In his view, several functions that were performed by the Planning Commission can now be located in other existing bodies. He outlines the functions that the new body should perform and contends that it needs to be more than just a think tank.

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India on the move: The commuting worker
S. Chandrasekhar , Ajay Sharma
Posted on: 10 Sep 2014
Tags:   transport

About 25 million workers in India commute daily for work, from rural to urban areas or vice versa, or have no fixed place of work. This column finds that rural households with at least one rural-to-urban commuting worker are better off than those with no commuting workers. It makes a case for shifting the focus of labour mobility discussions from migration to commuting.
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The future of economic planning in India
Pronab Sen
Posted on: 09 Sep 2014

Economic planning has been a central tenet of India’s development strategy since independence. In this article, Pronab Sen – former Principal Adviser to the Planning Commission of India – presents his views on the criticisms leveled against Indian planning from time to time, and reflects upon the continuing utility of planning in the future.
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The labour reform myth
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 08 Sep 2014
Topics:   Jobs

A few Indian states have taken steps to relax the labour law pertaining to worker retrenchment. This article argues that while this is a step in the right direction, it may be unrealistic to expect big improvements in output and job creation simply as a result of such reform as there is no evidence to show that this law is the only, or even the main, constraint on growth
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Please weight
Maitreesh Ghatak , Debraj Ray
Posted on: 05 Sep 2014
Tags:   statistics

The latest wealth index by New World Wealth that looks at multimillionaires has ranked India eighth in the global rich list. This article contends that looking at absolute numbers may be misleading. Accounting for population and economic differences across countries, it shows that while India does not stand out in terms of income going to the top 1%, it does in terms of income going to the top 0.1%.
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