The IRR of UIDAI is over 50 per cent in real terms

We have released a cost-benefit analysis of the UID system. In one line, the result of the calculations, under fairly conservative assumptions, is that the IRR of building the system is 53% in real terms. Hence, building UIDAI is a pretty good use of public money.

Through this page, you can access a short . . . → Read More: The IRR of UIDAI is over 50 per cent in real terms

Blindly sending money down leaky pipes

Proposals to spend more on government programs in India are generally criticised on the grounds that this is sending more money down a leaky pipe. In addition to the problem that the pipes leak, there is an equally big problem that we have no idea about what happens at the other end.

In order . . . → Read More: Blindly sending money down leaky pipes

Market Welfare

In reference to meteorites:

Approximately 5,000–17,000 meteorites plummet to earth every year—some the size of a washing machine, some as small as a golf ball. But when a particularly rare and scientifically valuable specimen like Tissint lands outside Antarctica, scientists and institutions such as the Natural History Museum must jockey with private collectors for . . . → Read More: Market Welfare

Is building and running the IIT JEE a public goods problem?

What should government do?

In the question “What should government do?”, economists have one big answer “do the public goods”. A public good is something that is non-rival (the consumption by one does not come at the cost of consumption by another) and non-excludable (it is not possible to exclude someone from benefiting from . . . → Read More: Is building and running the IIT JEE a public goods problem?

Insourcing vs. outsourcing government functions: A setback for public sector production of elementary education

A recurrent theme in the field of public administration is the appropriate separation, between things done within government qua government, versus the things that are best contracted out.

Example: A fascinating question in finance is the supervisory role of exchanges. Do we want exchanges to be rule makers and the front line of supervision, . . . → Read More: Insourcing vs. outsourcing government functions: A setback for public sector production of elementary education

Public Goods

Let’s play spot the fallacies:

We do not just have governments in order to rob Peter to pay Paul. We have governments because there are things they can provide that the private sector is either unable or unwilling to provide effectively – courts, police, schools, roads, other infrastructure, etc. Conservatives focus so much on . . . → Read More: Public Goods

The Empirical Evidence on Wagner’s Law

Ever since the original proposition by a 19th century German economist Adolph Wagner, Wagner’s law has undergone significant theoretical and empirical discussion on its long-run validity. In the most basic and rudimentary version, the law states that alongside the economic development of industrial societies, there is a persistent tendency of an increasing share of . . . → Read More: The Empirical Evidence on Wagner’s Law

Consequences of Air India Being a Zombie Airline

Air India has got itself into serious trouble, and private airlines are also doing badly. The CMIE report on air transport for August 2009 shows a bad picture for the airline industry: from the quarter ended June 2007 onwards, in each quarter, the PAT margin was negative.

There are three interesting aspects to the . . . → Read More: Consequences of Air India Being a Zombie Airline