The strikes themselves Pakistan might have swallowed as a move in our age-old game of tit for tat. The propaganda, the public display of our delight at their expense, force their hand — it’s the smartphone moment. And we may very well come to regret it
Our obsession with cricket, along with malnutrition, poor sanitary conditions and lack of public playgrounds, reflect in our Olympic medals’ haul
The mainstream parties have always insisted that immigrants and imports from cheaper competitors is nothing to worry about, but to the man in the street this has never made intuitive sense. When the economists were delivering results, voters were willing to suspend disbelief, but now they have no reason. Hence Brexit
Why not forget about national boundaries, just for cricket? To make this possible, administrators will need to work with their counterparts from other countries
Universities and civil society are important for a democracy like ours, founded on a genuine idealism that we have a hard time holding on to
In terms of alternatives to the odd-even rule, it is clear that one important downside of the proposed scheme is that it does not discriminate between those who just drive round the corner and those who drive hundreds of kilometres a day
A potent combination of intimidation, imitation and economic stagnation are the reasons for the youth taking to terror.
If the majority of peace-loving people in India choose to stay silent on Dadri-like incidents, soon we will become another Pakistan.
Every time we see State power being used with impunity, every occasion when a policeman walks into a teashop and leaves without paying, diminishes the State and breeds cynicism, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
We need to be able to think of ways to make our institutions of higher learning exciting places to teach and be taught.
It is difficult to sell insurance to the poor in India. The challenges are not insurmountable but demand imaginative solutions
If you are a natural scientist, a publication the journal Science carries enormous prestige. In the last few years Science has started to publish a small number of articles in the social sciences on topics of special importance.
Many years ago, Jagdish Bhagwati, a very distinguished economist long before he became one of the patron saints of the NDA, published an important paper on what he called Directly Unproductive Activities or DUP.
At stake in the Delhi elections is the idea that it is possible to be competitive without using under-the-table finance.
We need parties that pay their boys decent salaries for being the professionals they could be rather than the proto-criminals they end up becoming because of the system, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
We deserve to be told why the MGNREGA has been singled out for the axe, if for no other reason than to inform our views about future programmes, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Our prejudice against physical labour can only undermine Narendra Modi’s drive to turn India into a manufacturing hub, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Any attempt to do anything 'for the poor' tends to be cloaked in such self-righteousness that hardly anyone dares to ask the necessary questions about it: does the programme itself make sense, is there anything else that we could do that would be better? writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Narendra Modi says that he will replace the Planning Commission with a think tank. But it will take some doing to attract high-quality people to work for it, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The Muzaffarnagar riots and the mauling in elections were bad enough, but things really spun out of control with the rash of rapes and gang rapes that don't show any sign of letting up, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The BJP must nurture the institutions that put credible checks and balances in place. Otherwise, the street will fight back. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
One advantage of not being in power is that we can dream of reshaping the world exactly as we please. The BJP has had this luxury for some time — now the reality is about to hit it, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The tragedy of the UPA is not that it didn’t do anything, but that it is not able to take credit for what it has done. By protecting the guilty, it surrendered the governance agenda to AAP.
It is rare that a party has an unchallenged leader who does not want to be nominated, which offers the great advantage that he can impose the primary on the party without worrying about what it means for his own prospects.
The AAP should form the government in Delhi because if it fulfills the promises, we will have new heroes. If it fails, they can still explain why it happened. Voters in India are very forgiving — what they cannot stand is the posturing and the lying, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Beijing has changed its One Child Policy but past experience shows that demographic reversals are not easy. The experience of Japan and several countries in Southern Europe that are now trying very hard to avoid demographic collapse, suggests it is not easy to switch back. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Strides in education, health and life expectancy may have been driven by economics, but it’s high time that we factored ecological concerns into our unprecedented growth story if we want to avert the looming disaster brought on by climate change. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
We cannot fix climate change on our own. It is the original collective action problem. It will not work unless almost all the large economies come together on one platform. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
I must be missing something obvious. The considered opinion in India, or at least the bit of it that I read in the Press, seems to hold that the Right to Food Bill (RTF) may well be bad economics but it is surely good politics, at the least from the point of view of the ruling coalition. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Private investment may not be the perfect solution to the problems our national airline faces. But, the public cannot be made to pay the high cost of public sector intervention, Abhijit Banerjee writes.
The Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfer scheme will not solve all problems that dog the State’s delivery programmes. Still, it is a worthwhile experiment. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Why are we so outraged by the view that the recent rash of rapes in India has something to do with public displays of intimacy? Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Verghese Kurien was more than the 'Milkman of India'. The systems that he put in place at Amul and its cooperatives show that he was also an innovator par excellence. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
A study on the use of improved cooking stoves in Odisha proves that new technologies work best only when they sit lightly on the lives of their users, Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Unlike Gandhi, BR Ambedkar believed that compulsion can bring about conversion. Thanks to this, caste-based discrimination and prejudice are on the decline today. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
If honest data collection and transparent analysis are given short shrift, we will be left groping for hidden agendas, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
With its mandate of ensuring that rules are followed, the lokpal may stifle initiative and discourage talented people from taking up bureaucratic jobs, Abhijit Banerjee writes.
The Right to Education Act says much about what school premises should look like. But what about ensuring that a minimum set of skills is delivered to each child? Abhijit Banerjee writes.
To end the confusion over the definition of the poverty standard, the State must define two benchmarks: an ethical one and an administrative one, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Land prices can be manipulated. But with a few key issues firmed up, the draft Land Acquisition Bill is the best option to protect farmers from being cheated. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
The Indian taxation system encourages the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people. This is dangerous. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
The poor think that any change that is significant enough to be worth sacrificing for will take too long. That’s why they focus on the here and now, write Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.
Kaushik Basu’s proposal of legalising bribery may not prevent the next big scam. But it has underlined the need for creative thinking to address social ills. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
When I was a student in Delhi, we had this wonderful form of protest called, without any obvious irony, a ‘relay hunger-str-ike’. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Cities grow and prosper because they attract talent. In the case of Kolkata, the exodus of talent has led to more exodus. It is a former metropolis already beyond the pale. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Egypt, an oligarchy, has a rare chance to establish a genuine democracy. To ensure that, the US will need to show a great deal of forbearance. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
The biggest threat to our democracy comes from our growing belief that nothing differentiates good politicians from bad ones. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
Education is not a generic investment, argued economist Tapas Majumdar. So, before investing, the State should find out what the people want or believe. But our policy-makers don’t realise this at all. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
In his memoir, a former IFS officer writes that India has under-performed because it failed to stick to the ideals of the Mahatma and Jawaharlal Nehru, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Thanks to the Rs 60,000-crore oil subsidy bill, the Govt is living beyond its means. It’s high time the Centre decontrols fuel prices and spends that money on development, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
There is no reason for the State to own airlines or airports. The private sector has the capital and management capacity to provide the necessary services, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The Indian State must work with its alienated citizens and make all Indians believe in the Idea of India, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The Right to Food campaign aims to alleviate child malnutrition. But to make it work, parents should make feeding children healthy food a priority, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
I learnt from reading the Indian press recently that the Upper House of the Parliament had passed a Bill reserving 33 per cent of the seats in Parliament for what the press described as the ‘fair sex’, or more evenhandedly, the ‘fairer sex’, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The poor are the most ignorant about climate change and are the worst affected by it. We need to seriously include them in any solution package, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Microcredit can improve millions of lives. But the Indian regulators must not interfere too much, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
Technology is just an enabler. Making the unique identity card project effective will require changing the rules whenever needed, report Abhijit Banerjee & Sriram Raghavan.
Government programmes are open to misuse by people who run them. The unique identity card project can fix the problem if it is backed by political will, report Abhijit Banerjee and Sriram Raghavan.
Here’s the paradox of West Bengal: it boasts a great pool of talent and energy, but thanks to politics and a strange lethargy, nothing happens, writes Abhijit Banerjee.
The healthcare systems of the US and India are different. There is, however, one trait common to the two democracies: inequality. Abhijit Banerjee writes.
One idea is that the NREGA work days would be assigned to, say, the irrigation or surface transport or agriculture ministries, so that in order to complete their projects, they would need to use NREGA labour. This would create a stake in getting work out of people, writes Abhijit Banerjee.