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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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Temperature, labour reallocation, and industrial production

While it is well-established that agricultural production is vulnerable to weather shocks, less is known about how those affected respond or the economic consequences of any responses. Analysing data ...

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Dealing with worker absenteeism in labour-intensive industries

Worker absenteeism in labour-intensive industries causes productivity losses for firms, and reduced potential for productivity-based incentives for workers. Based on a study in Karnataka, this article...

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Short-term illness and intra-household labour substitution

For poor, agricultural households, health shocks strain limited resources on medical expenses, and result in loss of potential productive work-days. Based on data from rural India, this article shows ...

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Covid-19 lockdown and migrant workers: Survey of vocational trainees from Bihar and Jharkhand - II

Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns have led to widespread job losses, and a subsequent exodus of migrant workers from the cities. In this note, Chakravorty et al. discuss findings from their survey...

  • Notes from the Field

Would a four-day work week benefit women?

In February 2021, the Indian government stated that it may allow firms the flexibility of having a four-day work week, while retaining the norm of 48 hours of work per week. In this post, Koustav Maju...

  • Perspectives

Can technology mitigate the impact of heat on worker productivity?

Exposure to high heat causes productivity losses, with reduction in cognitive function as a key channel. A direct reduction in heat exposure via technologies such as air conditioning is not possible f...

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India’s new labour codes: A pre-condition for long-run growth

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has recently notified four new labour codes, which are expected to be implemented from April 2021. Assessing the impact of the policy changes around hiring-and-fi...

  • Perspectives

‘Outside’ managers’ productivity, firm dynamics, and economy growth

In developed countries, many industrial giants have humble beginnings as small, family-owned businesses, but nonetheless expand to hundreds of thousands of employees over time by relying on professio...

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Expectations, wage hikes, and worker voice

Understanding how exit decisions of workers are affected by their ability to voice their concerns, is a central question in labour economics. Based on an experiment in 12 garment factories in Karnatak...

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No line left behind: How firms match workers and managers

Various studies consistently affirm the importance of strong worker-manager dynamics in driving productivity. Based on analysis of worker-level productivity data, information on orders, and interviews...

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Managerial quality and productivity dynamics

It is well known that managerial quality impacts firm productivity and growth. Which managerial skills, traits, and practices contribute most to productivity? Are all such traits easily observable? Ar...

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Does India gain from high-skilled migration to the US?

India is the most important source of migrants globally, and the US is the main host country for its high-skilled migrants. Is the phenomenon of high-skilled emigration ‘brain drain’, or is it cre...

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The changing task content of jobs in India

The ongoing wave of technological revolution across the globe is set to fundamentally change the way goods are produced and services are delivered. Using a task-based framework, this article seeks to ...

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Recent Contributors


Debraj Ray

New York University


I4I Team

Ideas for India


Michael Peters

Yale University


Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University


Farzana Afridi

Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre


Aneysha Roy

SEWA Bharat


Sheetal Sekhri

University of Virginia


Gaurav Chiplunkar

University of Virginia

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Most Popular Productivity & Innovation Posts

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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