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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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Governance by ordinance

The UPA government recently explored taking the ordinance route to promulgate six anti-corruption bills. This article traces the shift from the post-Independence culture of healthy parliamentary deba...

  • Perspectives

Direct Benefits Transfer: An idea whose time has come

About a year ago, the Government of India launched a Direct Benefits Transfer programme that involves transferring government benefits and subsidies directly to residents through a biometric identifi...

  • Notes from the Field

Has community monitoring helped reduce corruption in public programme delivery?

MNREGA mandates social audits of public work projects undertaken under the Act in order to empower beneficiaries to scrutinise programme expenditures, and monitor programme delivery. Has community mo...

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India's illiberal speech climate

India’s cultural watchdogs and hate speech laws are increasingly seeking to restrict free expression in the country. This article contends that the right to take offence is fundamentally incompatib...

  • Perspectives

Re-conceptualising crime and punishment

A Delhi court has awarded the death penalty to the convicts in the December 2012 gangrape incident. This article discusses the moral basis and dangers of relying on this form of punishment for deterr...

  • Perspectives

Does the quality of electricity matter?

India is home to almost a quarter of the world population that does not have access to electricity. This column estimates the impact of increased access to and improved quality of electricity on inco...

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UID project: Does evidence matter?

The Indian government has been pushing to make UID compulsory, and is now moving towards charging for use of authentication services. This article asserts that the three key selling points of UID –...

  • Perspectives

Religion and relief in Muzzafarnagar

The communal riots that broke out in Muzzafarnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September last year took several lives and left hundreds homeless. In this Note from the Field, Rohini Somanathan s...

  • Notes from the Field

Unintended consequences of India's child labour ban

Bans and regulations against child labour are among the most popular policy tools used to address the problem throughout the developing world. But how well do they work in practice? This column analy...

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Some reflections on the National Food Security Act

The Food Security Bill became an Act with little parliamentary opposition. Yet the public debate has lingered. Would subsidised food grains reduce malnutrition? Won’t it be better to invest in heal...

  • Perspectives

A suggestion for WTO negotiations

India’s new food security law is likely to breach WTO’s limit on farmer support. India is keen to ask for a temporary exemption from the rule so that the law can be implemented unhindered. But, i...

  • Perspectives

Estimating the nutritional impact of the Food Security Bill

The provisions of the new National Food Security Bill seek to expand the value and reach of food subsidies provided through the Public Distribution System. This column analyses the nutritional impact ...

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Deepak Malghan

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

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Jothsna Rajan

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

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Laura Zimmermann

University of Georgia

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University of Kentucky

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University of Warwick

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Polygon Technology

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University of Chicago

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Carnegie Mellon University

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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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