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Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity

Debates surrounding abortion invoke both religion and politics. This column examines whether the religious identity of legislators influences abortion rates in the districts in which they are elected,...

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What happens when investments targeting women’s microbusinesses go to men?

Several studies find that male-operated – but not female-operated – microenterprises benefit from access to grants or loans. Applying the lens of household-level rather than individual-level inves...

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The persistence of caste in India: An economic explanation

Despite many efforts by the government and by civic institutions, the caste system continues to have a firm hold on Indian society. This column presents an economic explanation for this persistence a...

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What explains the stagnation of female labour force participation in urban India?

Over the past two decades, urban India has experienced expansion in women’s education, fertility decline and growth in white-collared jobs. Then why is it that female labour force participation has ...

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Entrepreneurship or survival? Caste and gender of small business in India

Can entrepreneurship be a vehicle for social mobility in India? This column analyses data from micro, small and medium enterprises, and finds clear and persistent caste and gender disparities in virtu...

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Caste and entrepreneurship in India

It is now widely accepted that the lower castes have risen in Indian politics. Has there been a corresponding change in their entrepreneurial activity? This column seeks to answer this question by ana...

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Combating gender imbalance through legislation

The rapid decline in the sex ratio in India over the past few decades is an artefact of the historically strong preference for sons over daughters. To address the problem, the Indian government passe...

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The power of women's political voice

With more women in power, can India’s women expect to see a fall in violent crime committed against them? This column looks at the effect of a law to mandate minimum numbers for women in public off...

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Does caste influence access to agricultural loans in rural India?

Increasing access to agricultural credit in rural India is a major policy priority. This column examines whether farmers’ access to formal agricultural loans depends on their caste. It is found tha...

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Casteism and Corruption: Beyond Political Correctness

Sociologist Ashis Nandy’s recent remark that most corrupt people belong to lower castes drew a lot of flak. In this column, Pranab Bardhan shares his views on what he considers to be the two substan...

  • Perspectives

Saving Behaviour in India: Understanding the differences across castes

The past three decades in India have witnessed a sharp reduction in the historically large gaps in the education levels, occupation choices and wages of the backward castes relative to the rest of the...

  • IGC Research on India

Does mother's status affect the child's stature?

Both women’s status and children’s health in South Asia are abysmal. Can a well-defined link be established from women’s status to child health? This column presents results of a study that uses...

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Violence against married women in India: Can the data tell us anything?

Violence against women in India has recently been brought to the world’s attention. But for too long the problem has been under reported. This column looks at what the data can tell us.

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Infant mortality in times of recession

Can recessions have permanent effects on people’s health in developing countries? This column looks at infant mortality in India and finds that recessions make things worse. The paradox is that this...

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Looking for icons to transform social norms

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 e...

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Most Popular Social Identity Posts

Unity in cricket: Integrated leagues and caste divisions

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that intergroup contact can reduce discrimination. However, different types of contact – collaborative or adversarial – may have different effects. Bas...

  • Articles

What happens when investments targeting women’s microbusinesses go to men?

Several studies find that male-operated – but not female-operated – microenterprises benefit from access to grants or loans. Applying the lens of household-level rather than individual-level inves...

  • Articles

Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity

Debates surrounding abortion invoke both religion and politics. This column examines whether the religious identity of legislators influences abortion rates in the districts in which they are elected,...

  • Articles