From tapering to tightening: The impact of the Fed’s exit on India

Kaushik Basu, Barry Eichengreen, Poonam Gupta 05 November 2014

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On 22 May 2013, Chairman Ben Bernanke first spoke of the possibility of the Fed tapering its security purchases. This and subsequent statements, collectively known as ‘tapering talk’, had a sharp negative impact on the emerging markets (Aizenman et al. 2014). India was among those hardest hit. Between 22 May 2013 and the end of August 2013, the rupee exchange rate depreciated, bond spreads increased, and stock markets declined sharply.

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Topics:  International finance Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  Fed tapering talks, India, emerging markets, Federal Reserve, current-account deficits

Drug quality and global trade

Amir Attaran, Roger Bate, Ginger Zhe Jin, Aparna Mathur 09 October 2014

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Data from the Pharmaceutical Security Institute indicate that poor-quality medicines were found in 124 countries in 2011, with the problem more severe in low- and mid-income countries than in developed countries (IOM 2013). While much attention has been focused on intellectual property rights protection (notably issues surrounding the WTO’s TRIPS1 agreement), poor-quality samples were more prevalent in cheap, generic drugs than in expensive, innovator-branded drugs when we tested drug samples from 18 low-to-mid-income countries (Bate et al. 2011).

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Topics:  Health economics International trade

Tags:  pharmaceuticals, drugs, medicine, health, trade, drug quality, India, Africa, counterfeiting, regulation, market segmentation

Political reservations and women’s entrepreneurship in India

Ejaz Ghani, William Kerr, Stephen D O'Connell 02 October 2014

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India’s 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, passed in 1992, encompassed a set of reforms implementing a nationally-standardised and decentralised system of local government. These reforms, also known as the Panchayati Raj, importantly required a one-third seat reservation for women among local governance bodies. A large body of research has shown distinct effects of including women in the political sphere in India, e.g.

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Topics:  Development Gender

Tags:  India, entrepreneurship, firms

Three new leaders face the challenge of food and fuel subsidies: Sisi, Modi, and Jokowi

Jeffrey Frankel 09 September 2014

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In few policy areas does good economics conflict so dramatically with good politics as in the practice of subsidies to food and energy. Economics textbooks explain that these subsidies are lose-lose policies. In the political world, that can sound like an ivory tower abstraction. But the issue of unaffordable subsidies happens to be front and centre politically this summer, in a number of places around the world. Three major new leaders in particular are facing this challenge: Sisi in Egypt, Jokowi in Indonesia, and Modi in India.

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Topics:  Development Energy Politics and economics Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  subsidies, fuel subsidies, food subsidies, Agriculture, energy, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Poverty, environment, trade, WTO, Doha Round, Bali

How retail drug markets in poor countries develop

Daniel Bennett, Wes Yin 14 August 2014

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Millions of people die each year from infectious diseases like malaria, TB, HIV, and diarrhoea, many of which have drug therapies. We need effective medicine to confront the alarming burden of infectious disease in the developing world. However, many of the drugs for sale in developing countries are of poor quality. Counterfeiters sell ineffective products that imitate the appearance of established brands, while small manufacturers make and distribute substandard versions of common generics.

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Topics:  Development Health economics Industrial organisation

Tags:  competition, pharmaceuticals, India, quality, asymmetric information, economies of scale, healthcare, adverse selection, drugs, medicine, market for lemons, chains

Growing through cities in India

Ejaz Ghani, William Kerr, Ishani Tewari 11 July 2014

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Urbanisation and development are tightly linked (Duranton and Puga 2013). Developing countries are urbanising at a much faster pace than developed countries. For instance, China’s and India’s economic transformation and urbanisation is happening at 100 times the scale of the first country in the world to urbanise – the UK – and in just one-tenth of the time.

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Topics:  Development

Tags:  growth, India, urbanisation

India – igniting inclusive growth by raising female economic participation

Piritta Sorsa 18 June 2014

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India is in many ways at a crossroads in mid-2014. It will have a new government, it will need ignition to restart the growth engine and make it more inclusive. But if this is to happen, then Indian women will have to be given the chance and the incentives to participate more in the labour market. Indian women already show signs of starting gradually to assert themselves more. Currently, female labour force participation is among the lowest in the emerging markets and declining.

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Topics:  Gender Labour markets

Tags:  India, gender gap, female labour market participation

Job protection reform in India

Sean Dougherty, Veronica Frisancho, Kala Krishna 08 May 2014

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India has some of the more restrictive labour laws in the world, but a large informal sector to which these do not apply. Therefore, firms thinking of growing in size and becoming formal must trade off the advantages of size with the disadvantages of facing regulations. This dilemma keeps Indian firms small and informal unless they have a lot to gain by growing, i.e. when they are very good indeed.

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  India, labour market reform

What voters reward: Evidence from the 2009 Indian parliamentary elections

Poonam Gupta, Arvind Panagariya 17 March 2014

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Despite the intuitive appeal of the idea that good economic outcomes such as sustained rapid growth should help incumbents win elections, evidence on it has been scant, especially from developing countries. In one notable exception, Brender and Drazen (2008) use a comprehensive cross-country dataset spanning over 74 developed and developing democratic countries and 350 election episodes to examine whether GDP growth during the term in office or in the election year helps incumbents win elections.

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Topics:  Politics and economics

Tags:  democracy, India, voting

Free lunch? Effect of India’s food subsidy programme on nutrition

Neeraj Kaushal, Felix Muchomba 24 December 2013

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In September the Indian government passed a food security bill guaranteeing 75% of the country’s rural population and 50% of its urban population 5 kilograms of food grain per person per month at heavily subsidised prices (Parliament of India 2013). The bill, projected to cost 3% of the nation’s GDP in the first year of its implementation, has faced criticism as it expands the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) - India’s existing food subsidy programme that is well known for administrative inefficiencies, corruption, and wastage (Bhalla 2013, Shiva 2013).

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Topics:  Development Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  India, nutrition, food subsidy

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