Research Papers

Growth Transitions in India: Myth and Reality

By Pulapre Balakrishnan, Mausumi Das & M Parameswaran | 13 March 2021 Topics : Economic Policies, Economy, GDP, India, Indian Economy

Growth has consistently remained a central topic in economic policy considerations of the government in India. However, there has also been a more scholarly interest in it among social scientists. As a part of the latter tradition, this paper addresses the proper delineation of the phases of growth in India, a matter of some discussion in the literature.

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The Interstate Variation in Mortality from COVID-19 in India

By Pulapre Balakrishnan & Sreenath K Namboodhiry | 7 February 2021 Topics : Covid-19, Health, Public Policy

While the response to COVID-19 by the Government of India has been more or less uniform across the country, in that a lockdown was imposed throughout, the death rate has varied across the states. This suggests that region-specific factors are likely to be relevant to the determination of this rate. A significant aspect of this study is the use of three different measures of the death rate in the empirical exercise.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and Gendered Division of Paid and Unpaid Work: Evidence from India

By Ashwini Deshpande | 1 October 2020 Topics : Covid-19, Employment, Gender, Incomes, India, Lockdown, Time Use

Examining high frequency national-level panel data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on paid work (employment), unpaid work (time spent on domestic work) and incomes, this paper examines the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the gender gaps in paid and unpaid work through the lockdown and recovery phases. The first month of the national lockdown, April 2020, saw a large contraction in employment for both men and women, where more men lost jobs in absolute terms. Employment has recovered by August 2020 for men. However, for women, the likelihood of being employed is 9.5 percentage points lower than that for men, compared to the pre-pandemic period. Men spent more time on housework in April 2020, but by August the average male hours had declined, though not to the pre-pandemic levels. Time spent with friends fell sharply for both men and women in April, to recover in August, but not to the pre-pandemic levels. The paper also examines available income data to find the sharpest contraction of incomes in the rural sector for both men and women.

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Unwanted Daughters: The Impact of a Ban on Sex Selection on the Educational Attainment of women

By Anisha Sharma & Garima Rastogi | 1 September 2020 Topics : Abortion, Discrimination, Economics Of Gender, Education, Fertility, India, Sex Ratio

We study whether legal restrictions on prenatal discrimination against females leads to a shift by parents towards postnatal discrimination. We exploit the staggered introduction of a ban on sex-selective abortions across states in India to find that a legal restriction on abortions in India led to an increase in the number of females born, as well as a widening in the gender gap in educational attainment.

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Is COVID-19 “The Great Leveler”? The Critical Role of Social Identity in Lockdown- induced Job Losses

By Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran | 1 July 2020 Topics : Caste, Covid-19, Employment, India, Lockdown

Using nationally representative panel data for 21,799 individuals between May 2018 and April 2020, this paper investigates whether the Covid-19 pandemic was indeed a “Great Leveler” in the sense that it imposed similar and equivalent labour market shocks on different caste groups. We find that while all caste groups lost jobs in the first month of the lockdown, the job losses for lowest-ranked caste are greater by factor of three. The data shows that the disproportionate effects stems from lower levels of human capital and over-representation in vulnerable jobs for the lowest ranked caste groups in the country.

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