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Poverty & Inequality

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

The post-pandemic global inequality boomerang

Global inequality has fallen over the last three decades, despite a rise in inequality within some countries. This article uses a World Bank database covering the years 1981-2019 to posit that the dec...

  • Articles

Examining Himachal’s urban employment guarantee

Despite proposals by economists on the need for an urban work programme in India, a national-level policy seems some time away from coming to fruition. However, some states have implemented such progr...

  • Notes from the Field
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Inequality and economics: Tony Atkinson's enduring lessons

Sir Tony Atkinson, the doyen of inequality economics, passed away in January. This article, by a longstanding friend and co-author, outlines his contributions to the analysis and measurement of inequ...

  • Articles

The decline of rural earning inequality in India

While earnings inequality remained virtually unchanged in urban India between 2004-05 and 2011-12, it declined sharply in rural India over this period. This column finds that although the change in t...

  • Articles

Disintermediating the State: Would a universal basic income reduce poverty more than targeted programmes?

Commenting on the discussion of the universal basic income in India’s Economic Survey 2016-17, Justin Sandefur contends that a modest version of UBI could potentially save money and shift expenditu...

  • Perspectives

Getting kinky with chickens

In the context of Bill Gates’ commitment to chickens as a high-impact poverty intervention, Chris Blattman recently proposed a study to compare interventions that provide chicken rather than cash, ...

  • Perspectives

Income inequality in a globalising world

Since the turn of the century, income inequality has risen to be among the most prominent policy issues of our time. This column looks at inequality trends in recent decades. While relative global in...

  • Articles

The tale and maths of universal basic income

Commenting on the discussion on universal basic income in the recently released Economic Survey, Jean Drèze argues that UBI is an idea whose time will come, but that time is still quite distant as f...

  • Perspectives

Inequality in the typical country in the last 25 years

While inequality has received a great deal of attention in the public debate in recent times, the poor quality of data available on this issue is a constraint. Based on a recently-compiled database o...

  • Articles

Decoding universal basic income for India

In this article, Jean Drèze argues that while universal basic income is a good idea in principle, as far as India today is concerned, it sounds like premature articulation. It could also become a Tr...

  • Perspectives

A universal basic income to step up economic reform

In this article, Nimai Mehta, Academic Director of the Global Economics and Business Program at the American University, highlights the political challenge of introducing the wider set of reforms nee...

  • Perspectives

What do we know about the wealthy in India? A pre-liberalisation analysis

Academic attention on the metamorphosis and concentration of wealth has so far excluded poor countries. This column analyses wealth distribution in India, post-independence and pre-liberalisation. It...

  • Articles

Universal basic income for India

In this article, Vijay Joshi, Emeritus Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford, sets out his proposal for a universal basic income (UBI) in India. He contends that deep fiscal adjustment, in co...

  • Perspectives

Poverty reduction in India: Revisiting past debates with 60 years of data

There has been much debate about the poverty impacts of economic growth and structural transformation in developing countries. This column revisits these issues using a newly constructed dataset of p...

  • Articles

Recent Contributors

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Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics

Rishabh

Rishabh Kumar

University of Massachusetts Boston

Sandip

Sandip Sukhtankar

University of Virginia

Karthik

Karthik Muralidharan

University of California, San Diego

Paul

Paul Niehaus

University of California, San Diego

Ejaz

Ejaz Ghani

Pune International Center

Students of Humanities and

Students of Humanities and Social Sciences Department

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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Dhananjay Sinha

Systematix Group

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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