Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
Thomas Piketty’s book on ´Capital in the Twenty First Century’ has made waves. The f ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
To mark the second anniversary of I4I in July 2014, we invited two eminent scholars – Abhi ... read on »

Tag: data

GDP conundrum: A synoptic view
R. Nagaraj
Posted on: 20 Nov 2016
Topics:   Economic Growth
Tags:   GDP , data

R Nagaraj, Professor of Economics at IGIDR, summarises the key points of controversy around the methodology and implications of the new GDP series.

This is the last of a four-part series.

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GDP conundrum: Some areas of concern around growth overestimation in Indian manufacturing
Amey Sapre
Posted on: 18 Nov 2016
Topics:   Economic Growth

Based on the new GDP series, large upward revisions in manufacturing growth rates were made – from 1.1% to 6.2% in 2012-13, and from -0.7% to 5.29% in 2013 – 14 that were not reflective of the actual performance of the sector during the period. In this article, Amey Sapre, doctoral student in Economics at IIT Kanpur, analyses some of the methodological issues in measuring growth in the manufacturing sector.

This is the third of a four-part series.

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GDP conundrum: Is India booming?
Rajeswari Sengupta
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Topics:   Economic Growth
Tags:   GDP , data

Rajeswari Sengupta, Assistant Professor at IGIDR, points out that the methodology used for the new GDP series seems to be underestimating the GDP deflator, which in turn is causing real growth to be overstated, perhaps by as much as 2 percentage points.

This is the second of a four-part series.

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GDP conundrum: What makes the changes in the new series so radical?
J. Dennis Rajakumar , S.L. Shetty
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Topics:   Economic Growth
Tags:   GDP , data

Dennis Rajakumar and S.L. Shetty of the EPW Research Foundation, present a detailed explanation of the wide-ranging changes in the new 2011-12 National Accounts Statistics series.

This is the first of a four-part series.

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Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Parikshit Ghosh
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Topics:   Economic Growth
Tags:   GDP , data

Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with 2011-12 as the base year, controversy has surrounded it. The CSO claims that the new series is calculated based on a number of methodological changes that bring India closer to international practice. However, the resulting high growth figures do not seem to quite agree with several other indices that usually reflect the strength of the economy.

To examine the issue, I4I Editor Parikshit Ghosh is hosting an e-Symposium over the next few days. A panel of experts will explain, in detail, the exact changes in estimation methods and identify potential problem areas that could be a source of overestimation.

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Data openness and the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill
Samayita Ghosh , Khusdeep Malhotra
Posted on: 05 Sep 2016
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   data , IT

According to the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, the acquisition or use of any geospatial information will require permission from a government authority. In this note, Ghosh and Malhotra highlight the importance of reliable geospatial information for development work. In their view, instead of restricting the production and use of such information, the government should regulate its quality and promote learning around it to ensure responsible and ethical use.
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Asking the right question to get the right policy
Eric Dodge , Charity Troyer Moore , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 04 Apr 2016
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   MNREGA , data

There is consensus in the development community on the importance of bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners; however, misaligned incentives underlie this gap. In this article, Pande, Moore and Dodge of Harvard Kennedy School, explain how bringing policymakers together with researchers to work more iteratively ensured that data from MNREGS - the world’s largest public works programme - became accessible and relevant to those who use it.
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Self-reported health data: Issues and solutions
Aparajita Dasgupta
Posted on: 23 Mar 2016
Topics:   Health

Health data from the National Sample Survey shows an increase in morbidity in India over the years. However, given that the data is self-reported, it is difficult to ascertain whether this indeed reflects higher actual illness burden or an enhanced perception of morbidity. This column shows that reporting behaviour varies systematically with socio-demographic characteristics, and this can be used to disentangle perceived and actual morbidity.
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Data-jam: Could data reduce road congestion in Dhaka?
Filippo Sebastio
Posted on: 01 Feb 2016
Topics:   Urbanisation

While urbanisation is key to economic growth, failure to address the downsides of the process - such as congestion - may deter the ability of cities to achieve their full growth potential. This column examines the challenges of road congestion in Dhaka, and explores the potential for traffic data to uncover evidenced-based policy designs that can effectively mitigate the problem.
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Unleashing the full potential of India’s ‘Open Government Data’ initiative
Natasha Agarwal
Posted on: 22 Jan 2016
Topics:   Political Economy

In October 2012, India embarked upon its ‘Open Government Data’ journey, by opening up access to government-owned shareable data in machine-readable formats for the use of general public. In this article, Natasha Agarwal, an independent research economist, discusses issues in the design and implementation of the initiative particularly through the lens of its governing policy - the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, and makes recommendations to enhance its effectiveness in achieving stated objectives.
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Against the tide: Deaton’s economics
Reetika Khera
Posted on: 17 Dec 2015

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, Reetika Khera, who did her post-doctorate research at Princeton University under Deaton, outlines his India-specific contributions both as a rigorous economist and a public intellectual. She discusses Deaton’s great concern with measurement issues, and the over-reliance on randomised controlled trials as evidence for policymaking; and his support of government action for social policy.
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Angus Deaton’s ideas for India
Diane Coffey , Dean Spears
Posted on: 30 Oct 2015

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economics, Diane Coffey and Dean Spears – former graduate students of Prof. Deaton at Princeton University – review some of his work on the well-being of the poor in India, and discuss the paradoxes and puzzles that still remain.
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The political economy of data
Florian Blum , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 21 Aug 2015
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   data

Recent experiences, especially from Scandinavian countries, show that opening administrative data sources can substantially improve public policymaking. In this article, Pande and Blum contend that while investment in data infrastructure is needed to produce and use statistics, the decision to collect and open data also depends on political economy considerations. Such forces are particularly strong in India and pose a major constraint on effective policy reform.
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Why numbers matter
V. Ramani
Posted on: 23 Jul 2015
Tags:   data

The delayed and partial release of data from the ‘Rapid Survey on Children’ by the Indian government has given rise to questions and speculation. In this article, former bureaucrat V. Ramani discusses the broader issue of the lack of suitable, public data on the social sector in India and the inability or unwillingness of the government to use existing data to monitor outcomes.
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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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Why the World Bank’s International Comparison Program has limited use for India
Ranjan Ray
Posted on: 20 Feb 2015

Preliminary results from the World Bank’s International Comparison Program, which seeks to compare the economies of 199 countries across the globe, were released recently. In this article, Ranjan Ray, Professor of Economics, Monash University, highlights several features of the exercise that limits its usefulness for a diverse country such as India, and makes recommendations for the next round.
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Towards integrating sample surveys in India
Pronab Sen
Posted on: 19 Jan 2015
Tags:   data

Large-scale household surveys in India are mainly undertaken by the NSSO and the NCAER. In this article, Pronab Sen, Chairman of the National Statistical Commission, highlights the need for systematic convergence between the two organisations, as well as other smaller ones, in the conduct of surveys. He discusses the requirements and challenges of such an integration process, including issues of data sharing and dissemination.
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