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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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14th Finance Commission: A trust-based approach towards local governments

The 14th Finance Commission has been hailed as ‘path-breaking’ for recommending larger fund allocations to state governments and giving them more autonomy in spending these funds. In this article...

  • Perspectives

The Chhattisgarh experience and the National Food Security Act

Many of the reforms introduced under the National Food Security Act are modeled on PDS reforms implemented in Chhattisgarh. These reforms are widely believed to be responsible for the state’s succe...

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Maoist violence and MNREGA

The spate of Maoist attacks on security personnel in Chhattisgarh this week serves as a reminder that Moaist insurgency is the single biggest internal security threat faced by India. This column anal...

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Strategically greasing the wheels: The political economy of India’s rural employment guarantee scheme

Inefficient and capacity-constrained bureaucracies often pose a significant hurdle to the effective implementation of anti-poverty programmes in developing countries.

  • IGC Research on India

Should the less educated be barred from village council elections?

In December 2014, the state government of Rajasthan issued an executive order barring citizens with less than eight years of formal education from running for village council chief elections in all b...

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Three concerns about AAP's promise

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has come to power in Delhi with a historic mandate. In this article, V Ramani, Partner at Access Advisory and former bureaucrat, flags three key concerns around their approa...

  • Perspectives

An economist's view on the new government's initiatives

In this article, Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, provides his perspective on some of the initiatives of the new Indian government at the centre in their fi...

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Response to the Bhagwati-Panagariya rejoinder on MNREGA

In a recent article, Abreu et al. refuted the Bhagwati-Panagariya argument for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. respond to claims in a rejoinder by Bhagwa...

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Assessing the quality and usefulness of MNREGA assets in Maharashtra

Questions have been raised regarding the quality and usefulness of assets created under MNREGA. To examine the validity of the scepticism, this column reports results from a study of MNREGA assets in...

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Building state capacity for better programme implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme

Biometric payment systems are posited to reduce leakages in public welfare programmes but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This column presents evidence on the impact of the Andhra P...

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What's the plan for MNREGA?

The new government’s plans to scale back MNREGA have elicited a mixed response. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee contends that both supporters and critics, and indeed the entire nation, deserve to ...

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Impact of Elite Capture on the Provision of Public Services

This project studies the effectiveness of major Government programmes in JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project) villages versus others to see whether the presence of self-help groups leads to impro...

  • IGC Research on India

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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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