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Friday, April 22, 2011

Interesting readings

Freedom House measures freedom of speech online, and finds that India is only `partly free'. The score of unfreedom worsened from 34 in 2009 to 36 in 2011. Here is some reportage on The Register.

The challenge for a new order in West Bengal will be daunting by Swapan Dasgupta in The Telegraph.

Is this what we are doing with the JEE: abstract of this paper reads: a more severe control of the quality of the output will improve the overall quality of the education. This paper shows a somehow counterintuitive result: an increase in the exam difficulty may reduce the average quality (productivity) of selected individuals. Since the exam does not verify all skills, when its standard rises, candidates with relatively low skills emphasized in the test and high skills demanded in the job may no longer qualify..

Why, for a Class of Bribes, the Act of Giving a Bribe should be Treated as Legal by Kaushik Basu, Working Paper, Ministry of Finance.

Decode your future for Rs.20,000 by Swapnika Ramu, in the Economic Times.

India does breakfast, by Aabhas Sharma in the Business Standard.

A working paper on an important contemporary issue: A policy response to the Indian micro-finance crisis by Renuka Sane and Susan Thomas.

Watch me talk about inflation.

Ila Patnaik reminds us that it is wrong to expect a steady and stable 9% growth every year. There's such a thing as a business cycle.

In continuation of the capital controls debate, see Deepak Lal in the Business Standard, and Ila Patnaik in the Indian Express. Also see: We have come a long way by Ila Patnaik in the Indian Express.

Tamal Bandyopadhyay in the Mint on inflation going out of control.

Ila Patnaik on how to make a difference to the child sex ratio.

28 Months Later: How Inflation Targeters Outperformed Their Peers in the Great Recession. The abstract reads: the evidence on post-crisis GDP growth emerging from a sample of 51 advanced and emerging countries is flattering for inflation targeting countries relative to their peers. The positive effect of IT is not explained away by plausible pre-crisis determinants of post-crisis performance, such as growth in private credit, ratios of short-term debt to GDP, reserves to short-term debt and reserves to GDP, capital account restrictions, total capital inflows, trade openness, current account balance and exchange rate flexibility, or post-crisis drivers such as the growth performance of trading partners and changes in terms of trade. We find that inflation targeting countries lowered nominal and real interest rates more sharply than other countries; were less likely to face deflation scares; and had sharp real depreciations without a relative deterioration in their risk assessment by markets. While the task of establishing causal relationships from cross-sectional macroeconomics series is daunting, our reading of this evidence is consistent with the resilience of IT countries being related to their ability to loosen their monetary policy when most needed.

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