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Do value-added taxes benefit firms? Evidence from the adoption of state-specific value-added taxes

Value-added tax (VAT) systems have grown popular in the last 30 years, especially among developing countries looking for ways to raise tax revenue efficiently. Using 2000-2012 data on product, state-s...

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Does going cashless make you tax-rich? Evidence from India’s demonetisation

During 2014-2017, the share of adults using electronic payments in the developing world increased by over a third, and policymakers have expressed optimism regarding the role of this trend in promotin...

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Fixing incentives for power plants to reduce outages

Consumers in India face frequent power outages despite relatively high-quality infrastructure and ample supply of power plants. This article identifies a novel explanation for India’s blackouts: whe...

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Does being local matter? Administrative decentralisation and human development

In this post, Chaudhary and Iyer discuss the administrative decentralisation reforms brought about by the Panchayati Raj Act, and measure the effect of decentralisation on the provision of public serv...

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Analysing e-governance service delivery outcomes: Insights from eTaal

In this piece, Trivedi and Mumtaz attempt to analyse the performance of e-governance service delivery across different tiers of government and service categories, through the volume of end-to-end elec...

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Improving admissions to technical colleges in India

Following their note on the issues that may arise from the ambiguity of EWS reservation policies, Aygün, Turhan, and Yenmez provide a critique of the multi-run deferred-acceptance algorithm currently...

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Challenges of executing EWS reservation efficiently

A recent Supreme Court judgement excluded members of reserved categories from the scope of EWS. Aygün, Turhan, and Yenmez look at the implications of this decision, including reserved category member...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: The architecture of affirmative action

The Supreme Court of India recently upheld an amendment that excluded Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backwards Classes from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota, restricting it on...

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Design choices for implementing affirmative action

In this expository piece, Ashutosh Thakur explains the various ways in which affirmative action policies can be implemented, and discusses the underlying tradeoffs and issues at hand. He delineates th...

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Panchsutras for carrying out a successful Governance Transformation

Following his last piece, which put forth a Governance Matrix that could be used assess a government system’s readiness to drive outcomes, Gaurav Goel puts forth five principles, or panchsutras, whi...

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The panchayat asset register: An instrument to conserve India’s commons

With common lands making up nearly a quarter of Indian territory, the State has taken steps to protect them from encroachment. The Indian Constitution grants panchayats custodial rights to protect vil...

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The Governance Matrix: Understanding a system’s readiness for change

To explain the gap between the expectation of perfect outcomes and the reality of an imperfect system, Gaurav Goel puts forth The Governance Matrix, a tool which can be used to assess the readiness of...

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Time in office and gender gap in dishonesty: Evidence from local politics

Existing literature associates a higher share of women in politics with lower corruption; honesty is viewed as an inherent or static character trait. However, using information collected from 400 elec...

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Party preferences and strategic voting in India

In the absence of compelling information that would allow them to accurately predict election outcomes in their constituency, many voters believe that their preferred candidate will win. Looking at vo...

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Electricity Act amendment: The need for a cautious approach

The recently proposed amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003 comes after nearly two decades with few legislative changes. In this post, Dixit and Josey review electricity sector developments, especial...

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Recent Contributors


Lakshmi Iyer

University of Notre Dame


Latika Chaudhary

Naval Postgraduate School


Fatima Mumtaz

NITI Aayog


Anand Trivedi

Harvard Kennedy School


Bertan Turhan

Iowa State University


Orhan Aygün

Boğaziçi University

M.  Bumin

M. Bumin Yenmez

Boston College


Parikshit Ghosh

Editor-in-Chief, I4I; Delhi School of Economics

View all Contributors

Most Popular Governance Posts

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...

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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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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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