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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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The need for police reform

The police in India are still mainly governed by the Police Act of 1861. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee, Professor of Economics at MIT, emphasises the need for police reform in order to check misu...

  • Perspectives

Is the MNREGA fund crunch making the programme clientelistic?

Fund allocation for MNREGA has seen a steady decline in real terms over the last few years. Analysing official MNREGA data along with survey data from Rajasthan, this column shows that in the face of...

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The political economy of data

Recent experiences, especially from Scandinavian countries, show that opening administrative data sources can substantially improve public policymaking. In this article, Pande and Blum contend that w...

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The significance of local power structures in Bihar's coupon-based PDS

In 2007, Bihar introduced the coupon system in PDS to curb leakages at fair price shops. This column argues that even though the administrative logic of the coupon system is fundamentally sound, such...

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Charting a course for the Indian economy

Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India) on a broad set of issues rang...

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He is a criminal but he is our criminal: Criminally accused politicians in India

The recent increase in the number of criminally-accused politicians elected to state assemblies has caused much furore in India. Despite the potentially important consequences and the widely divergent...

  • IGC Research on India

Elucidating avenues for corruption: Micronutrient fortification strategies in India’s Midday Meals Programme

Globally, iron deficiency is a leading cause of anaemia, a condition that is particularly harmful during early childhood, causing fatigue and slower physical and cognitive development with potentially...

  • IGC Research on India

Why numbers matter

The delayed and partial release of data from the ‘Rapid Survey on Children’ by the Indian government has given rise to questions and speculation. In this article, former bureaucrat V. Ramani disc...

  • Perspectives

PDS computerisation: What other states can learn from Kerala

Given the leakage in the Public Distribution System, Indian states are being encouraged to computerise their PDS. This column analyses Kerala’s experience with PDS computerisation and highlights me...

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Do ruling coalition-affiliated MLAs bring more development to their constituencies?

Despite the dismantling of the License Raj in the 1990s, interaction with government officials remains an important impediment to doing business in India. This column analyses the role of politics in...

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Citizens' trust in local politicians and implications for good governance

The new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, after a prolonged movement by the people of Telangana region for a separate state. Based on field experiments among citizens ...

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How effective are gram sabhas?

Village panchayats across India are mandated to organise local public meetings called gram sabhas several times a year, wherein villagers discuss issues such as local public good provision. This colu...

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Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

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Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

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University of Georgia

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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...

  • Perspectives

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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