Highlights

  • Farm 4 (Website)
    Blog Post

    (Mis)Leading attack on MNREGA

    Dilip Abreu, Pranab Bardhan, Maitreesh Ghatak, Ashok Kotwal, Dilip Mookherjee, Debraj Ray

    Despite high profile calls for phasing out the India government’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), analysis by IGC economists suggests the argument is based on exaggerating the costs of the programme and down-playing the benefits. The case highlights the need for evidence based research to inform public policy

  • India Child (For Website)
    Blog Post

    Why the firstborn is more likely to succeed in life

    Seema Jayachandran, Rohini Pande

    Physical height is an important economic variable reflecting health and human capital. Puzzlingly, however, differences in average height across developing countries are not well explained by differences in wealth. We cannot close the malnutrition gap without addressing the social norms and economic rationales that deprive girls and younger siblings of the resources they need Why are Indian children so short? Over 40% of those five and under are stunted — meaning they are in the bottom 2-3% of the worldwide height distribution for healthy children of their age and sex — and this...

  • Lunchtijd bij een vlakbij gelegen school
    Blog Post

    Putting undernutrition higher on the political agenda

    Lawrence Haddad

    A number of African and South Asian countries are failing to match economic growth with commitments to reduce hunger and undernutrition. With its new government now firmly in place, India has a golden opportunity to eradicate undernutrition, and fast India is in the midst of a ‘perfect storm’ for ending undernutrition. Yet, given the little progress which has so far been made, maximum effort will be required to take advantage of this transformative opportunity. So why are so many so optimistic? 6 reasons to be hopeful First, there is a sense that the previous Indian National...

  • Female Indian farmer
    Blog Post

    MNREGA: Populist leaky bucket or anti-poverty success?

    Dilip Mookherjee

    The world’s largest workfare programme – MNREGA – formed the backbone of the Indian United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s anti-poverty programme, and may well represent its most important legacy. While the programme was far from perfect, it was much more effective than other existing schemes Nine years ago, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government implemented the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the world’s largest workfare programme. Rolled out in three successive stages starting in 2005, it covered the entire country by 2008....

  • Manjhi (Website)
    Blog Post

    The Bihar Story: Resurrection of the State

    Jitan Ram Manjhi

    In the not so distant past, the Indian state of Bihar was a byword for corruption, lawlessness, poverty, and absence of governance. Over the last decade or so, the state has demonstrated a remarkable turnaround and has consistently been amongst the fastest growing regions in the country The popular perception is that Bihar’s underdevelopment is primarily due to poor governance since India’s independence. While one cannot deny that the quality of governance in Bihar till very recently has not been satisfactory, it would be a mistake to consider it as the only or main reason for...

  • IndiaProtest (Website)
    Blog Post

    Can workfare programmes moderate violence?

    Thiemo Fetzer

    It is common in developing countries for income shocks to trigger spurts of violence. Important findings suggest that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) programme has had a moderating effect on the intensity and incidence of terrorist violence in India India has faced many internal security challenges since its independence. In recent years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described Naxalism as the greatest threat to internal security. But this is not the only conflict that perturbs India’s development. Regular spurts of violence...