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Governance

Criminally accused politicians and economic outcomes

Despite a history of widely contested and transparent elections, and presence of vibrant and open media, an increasing number of criminally accused politicians are being elected in India. Based on an...

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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 do Indian voters respond to candidates with criminal charges: Evidence from Lok Sabha elections

An alarming number of India’s politicians have criminal records or some charges against them. This column asks how they manage to get away with it. It looks at evidence from parliamentary elections ...

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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?

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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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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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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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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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Strengthen MNREGS to support the rural economy

India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) has generated a lot of controversy about its effectiveness as a safety net designed to benefit landless rural households. M...

  • 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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(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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Out of power? Political capture of the Indian electricity sector

Although power generation has been growing exponentially in India, the quality of electricity supply remains poor. This article argues that political corruption is among the root causes behind unrelia...

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Need for a choice-based approach in PDS

A large share of public spending on the Public Distribution System (PDS), India’s flagship food security programme, does not reach intended beneficiaries. Thus, the idea of Direct Benefits Transfer ...

  • Perspectives

Like father, like son? The economic impacts of political dynasties in India

Political dynasties remain ubiquitous in democratic countries even though many societies democratised to end hereditary rule. This article studies how dynastic politics affects economic development in...

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Recent Contributors

Meenakshi

Meenakshi Sinha

Indian School of Business

Kumar

Kumar Das

International Growth Centre

Michał

Michał Burzyński

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research

Christoph

Christoph Deuster

United Nations Population Division

Frédéric

Frédéric Docquier

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research

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Jaime de Melo

University of Geneva

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Gaurav Khanna

University of California, San Diego

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Priya Mukherjee

College of William and Mary

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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...

  • Articles