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Poverty & Inequality

Urban exclusion: Rethinking social protection in India in the wake of Covid-19

Economic insecurity caused by lockdowns during the early days of Covid-19 forced many households to rely on government welfare schemes to fulfil their consumption needs. Using data from the June 2020 ...

  • Articles

The implications of India’s spatial development

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “poverty is the worst form of violence”. In this piece, Ejaz Ghani highlights India’s poverty burden, its regional disparities and convergence thereof. He highlights ho...

  • Articles

Fatal oblivion: India's National Family Benefit Scheme

The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) – which provides financial assistance to families in the event of the death of a breadwinner – has been plagued by low budget allocations, restricted cove...

  • Perspectives
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How reforming India’s workfare programme raised private sector earnings

By randomising the rollout of improved, biometric payment infrastructure used to issue National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme payments in Andhra Pradesh, this study found that this reform raised i...

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Could job creation be a driver of poverty reduction in India?

While the Indian economy continues to grow, there is a consensus that creating more jobs is vital to reduce poverty. Ejaz Ghani shares trends which suggest that job creation is being driven by cities ...

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Persistent problems with PDS: An assessment of the Covid-19 ration scheme

This note summarises the findings of a survey conducted by students at IIT Delhi to evaluate the functioning of the PMGKAY scheme across Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. It reveals that many househo...

  • Notes from the Field

India’s rising ruralisation defies claims of declining poverty

Building on some of the key contributions to the Great Indian Poverty Debate, Dhananjay Sinha assesses the economic transformation in India over the past few decades. He outlines the lack of private c...

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Finding the indiscernible poor: Community knowledge as a targeting approach

Varying estimates of poverty have often resulted in some deprived communities being excluded from government welfare schemes. Sabarwal and Chowdhry look at the case of Satat Jeevikoparjan Yojana in Bi...

  • Perspectives

Weighty evidence? Poverty estimation with missing data

Attempts have been made to estimate poverty in India with biased survey data, by adjusting household weights to remove the bias. Based on simulation exercises with artificially contaminated household ...

  • Perspectives

Statistical priorities for the ‘Great Indian Poverty Debate 2.0’

In the final post of a six-part series on the estimation of poverty in India, Himanshu summarises attempts by researchers to estimate poverty using three varied approaches, given the lack of official ...

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Filling a gaping hole in the World Bank’s global poverty measures

In the fifth post of a six part series on the estimation of poverty in India, Martin Ravallion provides a non-technical summary of Roy and van der Weide's working paper. He discusses some of their mai...

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Extreme poverty in India is yet to be eliminated: A comment on BBV

In the fourth post of a six-part series on the estimation of poverty in India, Sinha Roy and van der Weide reflect on the dramatically different estimates produced by two studies, and the source of th...

  • Perspectives

The Great Indian Poverty Debate, 2.0

In the third post of a six part series on estimating poverty in India, Justin Sandefur considers the approaches employed for projections of poverty estimates since 2011-12 – the last year for which ...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: Estimation of poverty in India

Estimates of poverty in India put forth in two papers published earlier this year – by Bhalla, Bhasin and Virmani; and Roy and van der Weide – have sparked the “Great Indian Poverty Debate 2.0...

  • Symposium

Measuring poverty in the absence of Consumption Expenditure Survey data

In the first post of a six-part series on , Surjit Bhalla and Karan Bhasin discuss issues related to measurement of absolute poverty in India. They summarise their IMF working paper from April 2022, a...

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Recent Contributors


Sandip Sukhtankar

University of Virginia


Karthik Muralidharan

University of California, San Diego


Paul Niehaus

University of California, San Diego


Ejaz Ghani

Pune International Center

Students of Humanities and

Students of Humanities and Social Sciences Department

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi


Dhananjay Sinha

Systematix Group


Purvi Mundhra

Systematix Group


Shagun Sabarwal

WomenLift Health

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Most Popular Poverty & Inequality Posts

Wealth inequality, class, and caste in India: 1961-2012

The level of wealth inequality in India is close to that of some highly unequal countries in the world. This article assesses the long-term evolution of wealth inequality in the country for the period...

  • Articles

Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

  • Perspectives

EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

  • Perspectives