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Governance

Escaping the subsidy-quality trap in India’s retail electricity market

Cross-subsidies in retail electricity tariffs leave distribution utilities with neither the incentive nor the capital to improve reliability, particularly for their most subsidised consumers. Using bi...

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When criminality begets crime: The role of elected politicians

The criminalisation of politics has become a massive threat to society. While the impact of criminally accused leaders on economic outcomes has been studied in the literature, little is known about th...

  • Perspectives

DUET: Decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies

Dilip Mookherjee supports Drèze’s suggestion to decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies, and contends that the moribund nature of urban local government is a key reason for the neg...

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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...

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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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(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 ...

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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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Indian economy: High performer or Potemkin village?

The recent schizophrenic commentary on the health of the Indian economy raises questions on the true state: Is India doing really well or are we just seeing an impressive facade? In this post, Amartya...

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Are independent candidates unimportant for political representation?

Independent candidates are often deemed ‘frivolous’ or ‘spoilers’ by mainstream political figures and authorities, although there is little to no evidence on their effect on elections. This ar...

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Bank and its critics

There has been a lot of commentary in recent weeks on the Reserve Bank of India, around its capital base, performance, and autonomy. In this post, Amartya Lahiri contends that RBI has a more coherent ...

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Recent Contributors

Neelanjan

Neelanjan Sircar

Centre for Policy Research

Deepaboli

Deepaboli Chatterjee

Centre for Policy Research

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Devesh Kapur

Johns Hopkins University

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Milan Vaishnav

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Marianne

Marianne Bertrand

University of Chicago

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Chang-Tai Hsieh

University of Chicago

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Nick Tsivanidis

University of California at Berkeley

Anil Kumar

Anil Kumar Kanungo

Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management

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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...

  • Articles