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Regionalist party representation and tribal insecurity

Observers have long been ambivalent about regionalism as a principle underlying the organisation of politics. Analysing data from India, this article shows that when regionalist parties win elections,...

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2021 West Bengal Assembly election: Did the Covid-19 surge matter?

In the recent Assembly elections in the state of West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress bucked an anti-incumbency headwind to secure victory. Using electoral data from 2016, 2019, and 2021, Ghata...

  • Perspectives

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...

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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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Promoting women in grassroots governance: Strategies that work

There are more than a million women elected to the Panchayati Raj Institutions of local governance in India. Despite constitutional provisions, women face many barriers when they participate in local ...

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Harsh Vardhan

SP Jain Institute of Management and Research

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Matteo Iudice

Brown University

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Rehan Rafay Jamil

Brown University

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Nikhar Gaikwad

Columbia University

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Rachel Brulé

Boston University

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Jean Drèze

Ranchi University; Delhi School of Economics

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Anmol Somanchi

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Michael Peters

Yale 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, ...

  • Articles

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