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Hindu-Muslim integration and firm output in Indian manufacturing: Evidence from a field experiment

Evidence suggests that ethnic diversity can lower firm output due to poor social ties and taste-based discrimination among workers. Based on an experiment in a manufacturing plant in West Bengal, this...

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Automation and inequality

Public discourse around automation has seen some take a fairly alarmist view – with concerns around its impact on employment, wages, the labour share of national income, and inequality. Others take ...

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Inequality, labour market trends, and the welfare State

All around the world, rising levels of inequality – particularly in the last 3-4 decades – have been recognised as a major issue. In this context, David Green (University of British Columbia) and ...

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AI and services-led growth: Evidence from Indian job adverts

Using a new dataset of online vacancies from India’s largest jobs website, Copestake et al. document near-exponential growth in the demand for artificial intelligence-related skills in the services...

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Implicit costs of factor allocation for Indian firms

Looking at variations in factor misallocation across states, Chaurey et al. measure trends in factor adjustment costs incurred by firms between 1999 and 2014. They find that adjustment costs for labou...

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The gendered employment effects of mobile internet access in developing countries

In the third post of I4I’s month-long campaign to mark International Women’s Day 2023, Goldberg and Chiplunkar look at 3G internet coverage in 14 countries, and find that access to mobile internet...

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Bringing skilling and productive employment closer to women

On International Women’s Day, Farzana Afridi considers a key issue in the creation of good jobs for women – the provision of skilling. She discusses the lack of physical and financial access to sk...

  • Perspectives

Formalisation of informal manufacturing enterprises in India

Employment in India’s organised manufacturing sector has grown rapidly since 2004. This article finds that about 15% of this growth can be attributed to the formalisation of previously informal ente...

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I4I@10 | First Ashok Kotwal Memorial Lecture: The future of development

What is the 'fourth' fundamental law of capitalism? Will capital ‘inherit the earth’? Has the pandemic quickened the intuitive appeal of the capital-labour substitution? Should sovereign funds be ...

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Creative destruction and catch-up growth in India

In this post, Peters and Zilibotti compare the size of firms in India and the US, and find that the 90% of firms in India have four employees or less, and attribute it to the absence of creative destr...

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The promise of technology for women’s employment

The growth of digital labour platforms holds tremendous potential to improve employment outcomes for India’s young, urban population. In this post, Farzana Afridi discusses the challenges in leverag...

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Mirroring realities: Digital technology through the eyes of women microentrepreneurs

The expansion of markets from physical spaces to e-commerce platforms during the pandemic widened the pre-existing digital gender divide in India. Employing the method of ‘auto-photography’, the t...

  • Notes from the Field

The role of political connections of firms during a crisis

Research has shown that political connections matter for a firm during times of economic crisis. This article refers to a unique data set of political connections of firms in India, and finds that fir...

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Changing the frame: Making small firms compete like large ones

Although small firms have natural advantages, they face constraints when it comes to reach and scale; this prevents them from competing with larger firms. Pankaj Chandra shares business models from It...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: The good jobs challenge in India

One of the primary concerns for India is the question of jobs – specifically good quality jobs. Why has India lagged in creating opportunities for its working age population, and how different secto...

  • Symposium

Recent Contributors


Ashley Pople

World Bank


Alexander Copestake

International Monetary Fund


Max Marczinek

University of Oxford


Ritam Chaurey

Johns Hopkins SAIS

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The impact of robotisation on the world economy: A forward-looking review

Robots have long existed in human imagination and only recently in the real world. The baggage of past imagination often intrudes into our understanding of how real robots will affect our economic liv...

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Tripura’s bamboo sector: Potential and challenges

About a third of the total area of Tripura is covered by bamboo, and bamboo has emerged as a key thrust area for the state’s industrial development. Based on a field visit that was undertaken to stu...

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An offline alternative for Aadhaar-based biometric authentication

While decision on the constitutionality of Aadhaar by the Supreme Court of India remains a matter of speculation, it has become abundantly clear that most of the use cases for Aadhaar-based biometric ...

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