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(Un)ease of doing business: How congested courts hinder firm productivity

The strength of contract enforcement determines how firms source inputs and organise production, and hence influences productivity. Using microdata on Indian manufacturing, this article quantifies the...

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Using mobiles to improve governance

Measuring how well major public programmes are implemented remains a core governance challenge. With the increasing mobile-phone penetration in the country, Muralidharan, Niehaus, Sukhtankar, and Weav...

  • Perspectives

Ujjwala 2.0: What should be done next?

Stopping the use of wood and other solid fuels for cooking and other household uses is crucial to mitigating air pollution and its staggeringly high health impacts in India. In 2016, the government an...

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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: Issues and gaps in service delivery and access

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a much-needed and purposeful scheme, given the health hazards faced by women inside households as 79% of rural Indian households still depend on traditional unclea...

  • Perspectives

Do politicians receive special treatment in courts?

Do Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) facing pending criminal cases receive favourable treatment in the Indian legal system? This article uncovers opposite effects of winning office, depending o...

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Consent to nothing: Aadhaar-based payment systems in welfare

The process of seeding Aadhaar with bank accounts in order to link welfare schemes and cash transfers with Aadhaar payment systems, created chaos on the ground. In this note, Niklas Wagner and Sakina ...

  • Notes

How democratic are the states of India?

India is often credited for its success as the world’s largest democracy – but does the degree of democracy vary across Indian states? This article develops an index to map the development of subn...

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Political alignment and economic outcomes: Evidence from legislative assembly elections in India

Theory suggests better economic outcomes prevail when providers at different levels of government are politically aligned. While politicians are jointly responsible for several policies, other policie...

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Ujjwala 2.0: What should be done next?

Stopping the use of wood and other solid fuels for cooking and other household uses is crucial to mitigating air pollution and its staggeringly high health impacts in India. In 2016, the government an...

  • Articles

Using mobiles to improve governance

Measuring how well major public programmes are implemented remains a core governance challenge. With the increasing mobile-phone penetration in the country, Muralidharan, Niehaus, Sukhtankar, and Weav...

  • Perspectives

India’s emerging crisis of representation

Article 81 of the Indian Constitution requires that each state receive Lok Sabha seats in proportion to its population and allocate those seats to constituencies of roughly equal size. However, the ch...

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Power to the people: The impact of political report cards in India

How do Indian voters react to information on the qualifications and performance of politicians?

  • Podcasts

Criminal politicians and informed voting in India

In India, 9% of legislators face criminal charges. Could voter information and coordination improve the country’s political representation?

  • Podcasts

Curbing leakage in public programmes: Evidence from Direct Benefit Transfer policy for LPG subsidies

Many developing countries subsidise access to essential commodities with in-kind transfer programmes, where beneficiaries receive goods at subsidised prices while non-beneficiaries have to pay the mar...

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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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Most Popular Governance Posts

Caste dominance in rural India: Cause and effect

Rural India remains a caste-based society. This column explores why caste continues to play such an important role and what the effects are. It argues that trade and agricultural productivity suffer, ...

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Unique Health Identification and Aadhaar: A case for mandatory linkage

As part of the Digital India initiative, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) issues a Unique Health Identification (UHID) number to each patient, which documents their entire journey in th...

  • Perspectives

Rethinking cadre allocation procedures in civil services

The allocation procedure of All-India Services’ officers to states is an important aspect of personnel administration in the public sector. This article shows that a change in allocation policy in 2...

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