The India Policy Forum (IPF) is India’s most prominent annual economic policy conference in the summer season of New Delhi and is organized by NCAER, the National Council of Applied Economic Research. The primary goal of the IPF is to promote original policy and empirical research on India, including policy-focused review articles that seek to define the best economic policy advice based on robust, empirical research. The annual IPF conference provides a unique combination of intense scholarship and expert commentary on commissioned research papers with a strong focus on policy. The revised papers and conference proceedings are published in this volume, including the comments of paper discussants and a summary of the floor discussion on each paper.
This 2016-17 IPF volume brings together the papers presented at the 13th IPF Conference held on July 12-13, 2016. The paper by C. Badarinza, V. Balasubramaniam, and T. Ramadorai presents for the first time an integrated perspective on the balance sheet of Indian households. The paper by R Nagaraj and T. N. Srinivasan unpacks the analytical and data issues underlying the controversy surrounding India’s new GDP estimates. The paper by A. Adhvaryu, P. Bharadwaj, and S. Krumholz analyzes India’s experience with child health and development, and suggests how policy and programs can be made more effective in this vital area. The paper by S. Chatterjee and D. Kapur raises troubling questions about the performance of Indian agriculture and highlights six puzzles, related among other things to the political economy, trade, and productivity of Indian agriculture. The final paper synthesizes knowledge and weighs the evidence from an array of studies on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the world’s largest workfare program.