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Posts by Abhijit Banerjee

Do roads bring votes in rural India?

A large-scale rural roads programme in India has provided access to over two-third of villages that lacked a paved road in 2001. Do citizens reward incumbent governments electorally for these improvem...

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Oral democracy

Critical scrutiny of the challenges of electoral democracy including elite capture, corruption, and patronage has led to a revival of the idea of direct democracy – giving power directly to groups o...

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The ‘Right to Energy’ and carbon tax: a game changer in India

India's carbon emissions in 2014 were more than three times its level in 1990. While the emissions have increased sharply, their distribution across income groups is extremely skewed. The poor in Indi...

  • Perspectives

Are transparency and accountability enough? Open corruption and why it exists

While India’s federal anti-corruption ombudsmen have just taken up their work, awareness of the complexity of corruption is growing. This article studies whether highly accountable Indian village co...

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The persistent gender gap in political participation in India

Women as citizens show up and speak up less in political spaces than men across the globe, particularly in lower- and middle-income countries. This article studies the persistent gender gap in politic...

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India's farm crisis: decades old and with deep roots

In this post, Prof. Himanshu argues that the crisis in Indian agriculture today is not a new one; it goes back many years. Therefore, the problems of farmers cannot be addressed by the band-aids of hi...

  • Perspectives

Compensatory afforestation funds: a means or an end?

India has one of the most ambitious targets for forest cover as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement which will require considerable land and financial resources. In ...

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Should civil servants be allowed to serve in their home areas?

Bureaucrats form an essential part of State capacity. Should they be allowed to serve in their home areas? This article finds that Indian Administrative Service officers assigned to their home states ...

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Financing growth and diversification of Bihar’s agriculture

In a panel discussion held at Patna, Bihar in December 2018, Anjan Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Mekhala Krishnamurthy (Ashoka University), Avinash Kishore (International Food Policy Researc...

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Sex ratios and religion in India and South Asia

In South Asia, low child sex ratios are increasingly an isolated Indian phenomenon. Within India, child sex ratios are ‘normal’ among Christians and Muslims but much lower among Hindus, Sikhs, and...

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Firm formation in India: The last 40 years

Research shows that entrepreneurship or new firm formation can be an important driver of economic development. This article studies the extent of new firm formation in India over the last 40 years and...

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What do children in rural India do in their early years?

This year’s Annual Status of Education Report throws light on what children in India do in their early years. In this article, Bhattacharjea and Ramanujan argue that the assumption that there is a u...

  • Perspectives