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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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Breaking the clientelist trap: Can reform create demand for good governance in Bihar?

How has over a decade of rapid and programmatic policy reform in Bihar affected voters? Based on a household survey comparing political attitudes of residents on either side of the Bihar-Jharkhand bor...

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Doing Business in India: Myths and realities

Ahead of the global release of the 2018 edition of the World Bank Doing Business rankings, this column compares data from firm-level surveys conducted by the Bank and the IDFC Institute-NITI Aayog wi...

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The power of enforcement: State capacity and child marriage in India

In an attempt to deter child marriage, a recent Supreme Court verdict has criminalised sexual relations between a man and minor wife. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married be...

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Political Change and Crime Reduction in Bihar

The aim of this project was to understand the mechanisms through which the political changes in 2005 contributed to the dramatic subsequent reduction in violent crimes. This project is an extension of...

  • IGC Research on India

Three barriers that make it hard for policymakers to use the evidence that development researchers produce

There has been a surge in policy research globally over the past two decades that is geared to promote evidence-based policymaking. But can policymakers put this evidence to use? Based on a survey of...

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Drawing the line: The short- and long-term consequences of partitioning India

Colonial rule in India culminated in the birth of two nations, forcing the displacement of millions. This column analyses the economic and political consequences of the Partition in 1947. It finds tha...

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Political decentralisation, female leadership, and health in rural Bihar

Political decentralisation and female representation in governance are known to improve social welfare by influencing policy decisions in favour of women and children. Analysing data from rural Bihar,...

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Governance and public service delivery in India

The International Growth Centre recently produced a synthesis paper (Afridi 2017) bringing together insights from its research on governance and public service delivery in India, over the past seven y...

  • Perspectives

Midday meals scheme: Are corruption claims exaggerated?

Soon after Aadhaar was made compulsory for availing midday meals in schools, the government claimed that the move had helped expose several instances of schools siphoning off funds under the scheme by...

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Why 'free' speech is not always 'costless'

A recent CBI raid at the premises of the owners of NDTV has sparked off yet another round of debates about freedom of the media, the spectre of authoritarianism, and freedom of expression in India. In...

  • Perspectives

Juvenile delinquency and income disparity across Indian states

The gravity and frequency of juvenile crime incidents in recent years point towards the urgent need for rigorous analysis of the issue. Based on data from Indian states, this column shows that juvenil...

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The development disconnect: MNREGA in Bihar's Jamui district

In this note, Amrita Dhiman describes her team’s visit to Jamui district in Bihar – the district that is supposed to have generated the highest number of person-days under MNREGA in its division i...

  • Notes from the Field

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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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