Publications

Discipline wise list of recent selected publications

The Different Ways in Which Aadhaar Infringes on Privacy

Privacy has been a key focus in the recent debate on Aadhaar. This is a very welcome development. Privacy is being interpreted in different, equally valid, ways by different sets of people. But the differences in interpretations are not always obvious to those who participate in the discussions. For instance, when computer scientists use the word privacy, they tend to it interpret from a narrow ‘data security’ perspective, whereas the lawyers in the Supreme Court have been highlighting the civil liberties angle to it.

Govt has been speaking in two tongues on right to privacy:

As a nine-judge Constitution bench in the Supreme Court decides whether right to privacy is a basic right of citizens, economist and social scientist Reetika Khera speaks to Ranjita Ganesan on how this relates to the Aadhaar debate and social media. Edited excerpts: It is being said in the Supreme Court that the right to privacy is not absolute. What would this mean for the Aadhaar debate?

Recent Social Security Initiatives in India

There has been a major expansion of social security programs in India during the last 15 years or so, along with wider recognition of economic and social rights. This paper discusses five programs that can be seen as partial foundations of a possible social security system for India: school meals, child care services, employment guarantee, food subsidies, and social security pensions.

Implementation in Undominated Strategies with Partially Honest Agents

We consider implementation in undominated strategies by bounded mechanisms. We provide a complete characterization of the class of social choice correspondences that are implementable when agents are partially honest, in the sense that they have strict preferences for being sincere when truthfulness does not result in a worse outcome. As an application, we show that the Pareto correspondence is implemented by a finite mechanism.

Sex Ratio Imbalances and Marriage Squeeze in India: 2000–2050

Rapid fertility decline and availability of sex determination technologies have led to a skewed sex ratio in favour of males. This imbalance in the sex ratio at birth impacts the marriage markets, albeit in a lagged manner, resulting in a ‘male marriage squeeze’. This paper examines the present and future trends of marriage squeeze in India. For this purpose, an ‘original’ age-sex distribution is constructed using different data sources such as Census, NFHS, NSS, and SRS. Several methods are used for this analysis, focusing on two main determinants of marriage squeeze

Sex Ratio at Birth - The role of Gender, Class and Education

The paper uses a class and education based approach to investigate the trends in the sex ratio at birth (SRB) in India. While the definition of the middle class is a purely economic one, it incorporates both social and economic understanding of its behaviour. The paper introduces the concept of the “emerging middle class”– a class that lies between the poor and the “stable” middle class. It argues that the social mobility strategies of the emerging class have much to do with the rise of the SRB; and the increasing share of the stable middle class has much to do with the improvement in

Sex Ratio Imbalances and Crime Rates

This paper analyzes the effect of adult sex ratio on violent crimes and crimes against women for 18 Indian states in the time period 1995–2014. Contrary to existing literature and speculation, we obtain a negative relationship between sex ratio and crime rates for both violent crimes and crimes against women, i.e, as the sex ratio rises to become more skewed in the favour of males, crime rates fall. A strong positive relationship is seen between crimes against women and the gap between male and female years of education.

Feeding insecurities

It is widely believed that Aadhaar-Based Biometric Authentication (ABBA) is necessary to improve the delivery of welfare programmes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Public Distribution System (PDS), social security pensions, and so on. This is a misconception. We have been studying these programmes for a decade, focusing mainly on the source of leakages and how the states are trying to plug them. The findings suggest that the UPA-2 government oversold Aadhaar because of a poor understanding of the leakage mechanisms in MNREGA and PDS.

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