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Poverty & Inequality

Aadhaar that doesn’t exclude

Aadhaar is in the news today partly because of security concerns and partly because of reports that the poor are unable to receive PDS rations because of failures in Aadhaar authentication. In this ar...

Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context

The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught on in the developed world. Does it make sense for India? To examine the issue, I4I Editor Parikshit Ghosh is h...

Estimating intergenerational income mobility in rural India

For developing countries, it is difficult to find income mobility studies that rely on datasets linking parents with their children. Using a panel dataset spanning 1994-2012, this column presents imp...

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A symposium on Piketty - II: Capitalist dynamics and the plutocrats

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 devel...

A symposium on Piketty: Introduction

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 notew...

A symposium on Piketty - I: Nit-Piketty

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.

Private investment and income disparity across Indian states

Liberalisation reforms in India in the 1990s offered private investors the freedom to choose their investment location in the country. This column finds that income disparity across low-income states...

Big and small ideas in development economics: Theory, evidence and practice

Karthik Muralidharan, Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego speaks with Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank and former Chief Economic A...

Financial literacy: When, what and how

The need for financial literacy and its importance for financial inclusion have been widely recognised. Based on various research studies on financial literacy initiatives, this column outlines finan...

Impact of MNREGA on labour markets

There is an active, ongoing debate on whether MNREGA should be retained in its current form. This column reports on research which suggests that MNREGA increased rural and urban wages and reduced sea...

Workfare as an effective way to fight poverty: The case of India's MNREGA

The fundamental appeal of a workfare programme, vis-à-vis a welfare programme, is that it helps in targeting the beneficiaries. This column assesses the welfare impact of MNREGA on poor rural househ...

MNREGA's swan song: Not everyone's idea of achche din

Over the last few months, the central government announced a set of measures to restrict MNREGA. The rationale essentially revolves around corruption in the scheme and lack of economic viability. In ...

(Mis)Leading attack on 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 de...

Switching to sanitation in South Asia: A study of health technology adoption (a seed study)

Open defecation in rural India presents a puzzle: India has far higher open defecation rates than other developing regions where people are poorer, literacy rates are lower, and water is more scarce.

A critical assessment of the Rangarajan Panel Report on poverty measurement

An expert committee headed by C Rangarajan was appointed by the government to rethink poverty measurement in India. This column provides a critical assessment of the recently released report of the C...

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Most Popular Poverty & Inequality Posts

A universal basic income to step up economic reform

In this article, Nimai Mehta, Academic Director of the Global Economics and Business Program at the American University, highlights the political challenge of introducing the wider set of reforms nee...

Who does not get caught by social safety nets?

While implementation failure is an oft-cited reason for low coverage rates of welfare programmes, even relatively well-implemented programmes can fail to reach intended recipients. Based on an experim...

Can India make a universal basic income work?

According to the Economic Survey 2016-17, universal basic income may prove to be a more effective antipoverty intervention than India’s largest welfare schemes. Discussing the Survey’s proposal, S...