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Posts by Rohini Somanathan

Malnutrition and the National Food Security Act

The National Food Security Act aims to remove hunger and reduce malnutrition by providing subsidised foodgrains to two-thirds of the population. Using nationally representative data, this column finds...

The Effects of Food Policy on Cropping Patterns and Income Distribution in Rural Bihar

Bihar is unusual among the Indian states in the extent to which it remains a rural economy; government food policy can have profound effects on the level and distribution of income in Bihar. The objec...

The battle for backwardness

Ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, the state government granted ‘Other Backward Classes’ status to Rajput Sikhs. In this article, Rohini Somanathan contends that caste reservations first ...

Nobel insights: When it comes to contracts, what's obvious may not be optimal

In a tribute to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström, recipients of this year’s Nobel prize in Economics, Rohini Somanathan, Professor of Economics at Delhi School of Economics, outlines their contribut...

The right to shelter: an evaluation of the land transfer programme to Mahaladits in Bihar

This project follows the implementation of a land distribution scheme towards Mahaladit households in Bihar, the most oppressed of the Scheduled Castes in the state. It aims to describe which Mahadali...

Socially disadvantaged groups and microfinance in India

The benefits of microfinance are in the details. This column takes a look at lending by commercial banks in India to self-help groups – smaller, informal community-based groups – as a new and succ...

Religion and relief in Muzzafarnagar

The communal riots that broke out in Muzzafarnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September last year took several lives and left hundreds homeless. In this Note from the Field, Rohini Somanathan s...

Evaluating the Effects of Targeted Transfers to 'Mahadalits' in Bihar

The aim of this project is to examine how the transfer of assets to ultra-poor households under different Mahadalit inititatives influences their sense of well-being and their notions of identity. The...

Incorporating Public Good Availability into the Measure of Poverty

This project makes an attempt to incorporate benefits from unpaid public services into consumption decisions to arrive at more accurate measures of poverty and inequality. The project considered thre...

Cognitive Effects of Supplementary School Feeding Programme

This project uses the exogenous policy shock of the extension of provision of school meals to upper primary grades in public schools in Delhi to study the effects of school meal intake on the cognitiv...

Improving Urban Air Quality in India: Lessons from the Kolkata Clean Air Regulations of 2009

This paper analyses the change in the economic returns of auto-rickshaw drivers in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), roughly one year after they were required to shift to using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG...