Ashok Kotwal

Ashok Kotwal was formerly Editor-in-Chief of Ideas for India.

Ashok Kotwal was a Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He served as the Head of the Department from 1995-2000 and as the Director, Centre for India and South Asia Research at the University of British Columbia from 2003-08. His research focused on development issues such as: the process of poverty decline, labour and credit markets in developing countries, the role of agriculture in development, the role of international trade, and rural governance. More recently, he was engaged in the study of poverty alleviation schemes such as Public Distribution System and MGNREGA (Employment Guarantee Act). Prof Kotwal passed away in April 2022.

Content by Ashok Kotwal
  • Blog post

    (Mis)Leading attack on MNREGA

    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

    17 Nov 2014 | Dilip Abreu, Pranab Bardhan, Maitreesh Ghatak, Ashok Kotwal, Dilip Mookherjee, Debraj Ray

  • Project

    The impacts of linking NREGA payments to UID: A Study of Maharashtra

    India undertakes substantial transfers to the poor under various programs. Total transfers from the Central government amount to at least 2% of GDP. Transfers to the rural poor come in various forms; either as direct subsidies (like the PDS), or via the implementation of government programs administered through the Panchayat system. The National Rural Employment Guarantee...

    10 Oct 2014 | Bharat Ramaswami , Siwan Anderson, Ashok Kotwal, Ashwini Kulkarni

  • Blog post

    The challenge of fulfilling aspirations

    This year’s election is a watershed in Indian history. This editorial discusses possible reasons for the stunning defeat of the previous government. While there is no denying that the previous government could be faulted for many things including creating a leadership vacuum and letting corruption go unchecked, the knockout blow came from its inability to reform the...

    15 Jul 2014 | Ashok Kotwal

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Observations on the Scope of Corruption in NREGA Projects (Final Report)

    15 Mar 2013 | Siwan Anderson, Ashok Kotwal, Ashwini Kulkarni , Bharat Ramaswami

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The Impacts of Linking UID to NREGA Wage Payments: A Study of Maharashtra (Policy Brief)

    1 Mar 2013 | Siwan Anderson, Ashok Kotwal, Ashwini Kulkarni , Bharat Ramaswami