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On the perils of embedded experiments

There is growing interest in ‘embedded experiments’, conducted by researchers and policymakers as a team. Aside from their potential scale, the main attraction of these experiments is that they se...

  • Perspectives

Culture and development

How did human society evolve from being organised predominantly around large kin-based networks, to one with strong notions of individualism? To examine this question, Joseph Henrich (Harvard Universi...

  • Videos

Nobel Prize in Economics 2021: Clarity, transparency, and credibility in empirical research

This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics has been awarded to David Card – for his empirical contributions to labour economics – and Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – for their methodological contr...

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Under the thumb of history?

In June 2021, Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee (Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT) delivered the inaugural Shaibal Gupta Memorial Lecture organised by Asian Development Research...

  • Podcasts

I4I at 10: Zooming over the last nine years, and looking ahead

As ‘Ideas for India’ enters its 10th year, Editor-in-Chief Ashok Kotwal reflects on its growth as a credible, ideologically neutral, and accessible platform for evidence-based policy analysis, and...

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Information provision and food safety: A field study in urban India

While street food accounts for a significant proportion of the daily food consumption of millions of people, the reliability and safety of these food supply chains remain a key public health concern. ...

  • Articles

How effective are unenforced mandates for corporate social responsibility?

By enacting the Companies Act in 2013, India became the first country in the world to mandate spending by large corporations on socially responsible initiatives. Using firm data from 2010 and 2016, th...

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Obituary: Dr Shaibal Gupta

Dr Shaibal Gupta, IGC India’s Bihar programme head, sadly passed away on 28 January 2021. He was one of India’s pre-eminent social scientists, widely regarded as the leading expert on the economic...

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I4I 2020 highlights: Note from the Editor-in-Chief

As we near the end of 2020, Editor-in-chief Ashok Kotwal reflects on the unprecedented and momentous year that was, and presents key highlights from I4I.

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Phone survey methodology for social and economic research in India

Data collection using face-to-face surveys has faced a roadblock in the wake of restricted mobility and social distancing guidelines to contain the spread of Covid-19. In this post, Coffey et al. desc...

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Covid-19: Journey of a construction firm through the lockdown

To check the spread of Covid-19, Government of India announced a stringent, three-week national lockdown on 25 March 2020 – with some easing of restrictions in subsequent phases. This note chronicle...

  • Notes from the Field

RCTs for policymaking: Ethical and methodological considerations

The last decade has seen an increased adoption of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for answering policy questions in developing countries. RCTs are being preferred over other research methods mainl...

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Doing our bidding: Auctions and the greater common good

This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics has been awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats. In this post, Parikshit Ghosh discus...

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In the eyes of the beholder: How artisans set prices for their products

The developing world is replete with people working in low-income, but creative occupations, such as artisanship. However, little is concretely known about how they set prices for their products. Base...

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Covid-19 lockdown and criminal activity: Evidence from Bihar

The lockdown imposed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging consequences for the society. This article analyses the impact of the lockdown on criminal activity in Bihar using up-to-date p...

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Recent Contributors

Rohini

Rohini Somanathan

Delhi School of Economics

Bharat

Bharat Ramaswami

Ashoka University

Ashwini

Ashwini Kulkarni

Pragati Abhiyan

Anand

Anand Swamy

Williams College

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Jean Drèze

Ranchi University; Delhi School of Economics

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Pranab Bardhan

University of California, Berkeley

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Amartya Lahiri

University of British Columbia

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Ashwini Deshpande

Ashoka University

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Most Popular Miscellany Posts

Evidence, policy, and politics

Commenting on the concept of evidence-based policy, Jean Drèze argues that the relation between evidence and policy needs further thought. Based on his involvement with social policy in India, he bel...

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On the perils of embedded experiments

There is growing interest in ‘embedded experiments’, conducted by researchers and policymakers as a team. Aside from their potential scale, the main attraction of these experiments is that they se...

  • Perspectives

The particulars of social policy in India: Evidence, State capacity, and policy design

Economist-activist Jean Drèze has argued that economists are no better equipped to comment on development policy design than other social science researchers and other stakeholders, and that policyma...

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