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Debraj Ray
New York University
debraj.ray@nyu.edu
Debraj Ray is the Silver Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Professor of Economics, New York University. Ray works in the areas of development economics and game theory. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fellow of the Society for Advancement in Economic Theory. He is on the Board of Directors of the Bureau for Research in the Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). He received the Deans Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford and the Gittner Award for Teaching Excellence at Boston University. He holds an honorary degree from the University of Oslo, and is a Co-Editor of the American Economic Review.

Articles By Debraj Ray
Kenneth Arrow, 1921-2017
Posted On: 02 Mar 2017

Topics:   Economic Thought
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In a tribute to Kenneth Arrow, Debraj Ray, Professor of Economics at NYU, outlines the contributions of the late Nobel laureate to economic thought.
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The universal basic share and social incentives
Posted On: 30 Sep 2016


In the previous article in the series, Debraj Ray proposes a simple amendment of the universal basic income called the universal basic share. In this article, Debraj Ray and Karl Ove Moene (University of Oslo), discuss how the universal basic share combines social considerations of fairness with incentives for the collective good.

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The universal basic share
Posted On: 29 Sep 2016


Debraj Ray, Professor of Economics at NYU, proposes a simple amendment of the universal basic income – what he calls the ‘universal basic share’. The idea is to commit a fixed fraction of the gross domestic product to the provision of a basic income for all.

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Analysing worker responses to a contract change
Posted On: 08 Aug 2016


Higher-powered incentives are generally believed to increase worker productivity. In the context of an Indian tea plantation, this column examines a contract change wherein baseline wages were increased and incentive piece rates were lowered or kept unchanged. It finds that output increased by 20-80% in the following month but fell to original levels thereafter. Possible explanations for the observed impact are explored.
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Missing unmarried women
Posted On: 19 Oct 2015

Topics:   Gender

The developing world has notoriously low sex ratios, a phenomenon that has been described as ‘missing women’. This is believed to be driven by parental preferences for sons, sex-selective abortion and different levels of care during infancy. This column shows that these higher rates of female mortality continue into adulthood. It argues that being unmarried, especially through widowhood, is a key factor behind this trend.
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A symposium on Piketty – I: Nit-Piketty
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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Response to the Bhagwati-Panagariya rejoinder on MNREGA
Posted On: 14 Dec 2014

Tags:   MNREGA

In a recent article, Abreu et al. refuted the Bhagwati-Panagariya argument for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. respond to claims in a rejoinder by Bhagwati-Panagariya, regarding net benefits of MNREGA employment, the self-selection feature of the programme, and rural asset creation.
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(Mis)Leading attack on MNREGA
Posted On: 12 Nov 2014

Tags:   MNREGA

Bhagwati and Panagariya have argued for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. contend that the argument is based on inflating the costs of the programme and deflating the benefits. While they do not claim that all is well with MNREGA, they believe it needs better governance, not slow suffocation.
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Please weight
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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Monkeying with the rupee
Posted On: 04 Sep 2013


In this article, Debraj Ray discusses the sharp depreciation of the rupee and the ongoing outflow of foreign capital from India. Further, he refutes claims that the costs associated with the Food Security Bill are having a negative impact on the Indian currency.
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Star Wars
Posted On: 05 Aug 2013


Debraj Ray gets to the heart of the growth versus redistribution debate and argues that a sectoral imbalance in growth is inevitable. While occupational choice is an important way to deal with this, it is slow and imprecise. Action on the part of the government may be critical to even things out.
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Looking for icons to transform social norms
Posted On: 28 Jan 2013

Topics:   Gender , Crime

What can be done to reduce the incidence of rape? This article proposes that messages from role models such as cricketers and film stars can change outlooks. It outlines a strategy for measuring the effects of the proposed policy.
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India’s missing women by age and state
Posted On: 11 Jan 2013

Topics:   Gender , Crime

This column presents results of a study that breaks down “missing women” by age across the Indian states. It illustrates that Indian women face the risk of excess mortality at every stage of their lives, and attempts to explain excess female deaths in India after birth.
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