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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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Emerging challenges: Economic and social

To mark the second anniversary of I4I in July 2014, we invited two eminent scholars – Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) and Mukul Kesavan (Jamia Milia) to discuss the emerging economic and social challenges in...

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Do women in power have an impact on corruption?

The recently elected 16th Lok Sabha of India will have a record number of 61 women parliamentarians. This column assesses whether women in the labour force or positions of power can have an impact on...

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What voters reward: Evidence from the 2009 Indian parliamentary elections

Do voters care about economic outcomes? This column analyses the 2009 parliamentary elections in India and finds that voters favoured parties that delivered high growth in their states and rejected t...

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Can workfare programmes moderate violence?

It is widely known that income shocks may trigger spurts of violence. This column explores whether workfare programmes can help mitigate support for violent movements. It finds that MNREGA has had a ...

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Open defecation in cities: A faltering India story

Despite significant public investment in urban sanitation, over 37 million people in Indian cities resort to open defecation. This column examines the existing information on open defecation in urban...

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most dynamic state of them all?

This column analyses the economic performance of 16 major Indian states over the last three decades. It finds that Bihar has improved the most during the 2000s, Kerala has always been a star performe...

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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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Recent Contributors

Lakshmi

Lakshmi Iyer

University of Notre Dame

Latika

Latika Chaudhary

Naval Postgraduate School

Fatima

Fatima Mumtaz

NITI Aayog

Anand

Anand Trivedi

Harvard Kennedy School

Bertan

Bertan Turhan

Iowa State University

Orhan

Orhan Aygün

Boğaziçi University

M.  Bumin

M. Bumin Yenmez

Boston College

Parikshit

Parikshit Ghosh

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

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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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