State Capacity

Tax Compliance and Social Acclaim

Tax Compliance and Social Acclaim

September 15, 2014

By Mushfiq Mobarak - Livemint

There is significant potential for improving revenue collection through social recognition programmes.

High rates of economic growth, in-migration and urbanization have stressed the ageing infrastructure of Bangladesh. Firm production is regularly disrupted by power outages, and Dhaka, the epicentre of economic activity, is rated as one of the most unlivable cities in the world.

Rural Development Ministry to Launch MNREGA Dashboard

Rural Development Ministry to Launch MNREGA Dashboard

January 28, 2014

By Pratap Vikram Singh - Governance Now
Public accessibility to visualization tools, developed by Harvard University, will ultimately increase pressure on implementers to improve outcomes. A small team from the Harvard University is helping the ministry of rural development and panchayati raj to analyze the terabytes of data related to Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee Act (MNREGA) and create dashboard which would present the information in a simple and visual format for better monitoring and implementation.

Credit Score, by Multiple Choice

Credit Score, by Multiple Choice

December 30, 2013

By Sarah Wheaton - The New York Times
No credit? No problem — just take a test. DJ DiDonna, the chief operating officer of the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, was recruited from Harvard Business School. That’s the message being delivered to more than 70,000 small-business owners in developing countries where credit ratings are rare and many potential entrepreneurs keep their money in cash rather than bank accounts.

See Red Flags, Hear Red Flags

See Red Flags, Hear Red Flags

December 6, 2013

By Michael Greenstone - The New York Times
WHAT do Enron and the corporate-accounting scandals of the early 2000s have in common with the subprime-mortgage crisis and the Great Recession? In both cases, the delivery of accurate information to the broader economy was compromised because auditors were hired and paid by the firms they audited. Auditors face a conflict of interest between reporting the truth and running their businesses successfully. Our economy and many markets throughout the world remain vulnerable to this conflict. But it does not have to be this way.

Paying auditors for honest appraisals

Paying auditors for honest appraisals

July 17, 2013

The Wall Street Journal
By David Wessel
The auditing business rests on what Joshua Ronen, a New York University accounting professor, once called "a structural infirmity."

Economists recently tracked 473 textile plants in India. Above, workers carry algae as they clean the polluted waters of a river in Ahmedabad. Reuters

Lifting the curtain on corruption in developing countries

Lifting the curtain on corruption in developing countries

January 21, 2012

VOX
By Benjamin Olken , Rohini Pande
Recent innovations in methodology have sparked a remarkable expansion in economists’ ability to measure corruption. This column reviews these new techniques, which range from inferring corrupt links from stock prices to attempting to observe bribes undercover. It concludes that, while corruption is prevalent in poor countries, there remains little consensus about its magnitude or the best way to fight it.

Women in a woeful world

Women in a woeful world

September 1, 2009

Harvard Magazine
By Rohini Pande
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife journalists Nicholas D. Kristof ’82 and Sheryl WuDunn, M.B.A. ’86, is more than just journalism. It’s a tract that’s unashamedly intended to outline a problem and convince its readers to take action to solve it.