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  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What kept the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from becoming a reality in India for a quarter of a century after the adoption of the structural adjustment programme in 1991? What made it possible in 2016? To what extent the Indian model of GST reflects a compromise between the need to keep fiscal federalism intact and to respond to a more global economic imperative? To what extent India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions? This paper investigates these issues and shows that the shifts in the indirect tax regime in India since independence have taken place within the structural context of constitutional rules, the economic policy paradigm and political dynamics. Party congruence after 2014 helped to facilitate the introduction of the GST, but the shape thereof was strongly marked by path-dependent logics and the role of state governments as institutional veto players. In addition, the paper examines the ways in which India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a fundamental change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Governance, Tax Systems, Institutions, Services
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Radhika Jain, Pascaline Dupas
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Using administrative data on over 4 million hospital visits, we document striking gender disparities within a government health insurance program that entitles 46 million poor individuals to free hospital care in Rajasthan, India. Females account for only 33% of hospital visits among children and 43% among the elderly. These shares are lower for more expensive types of care, and far lower than sex differences in illness prevalence can explain. Almost two-thirds of non-childbirth spending is on males. We combine these data with patient survey, census, and electoral data to show that 1) the program is unable to fully offset the costs of care-seeking, which results in disparities in hospital utilization because some households are willing to allocate more resources to male than female health; 2) lowering costs does not reduce disparities, because males benefit as much as females do; and 3) long-term exposure to village-level female leaders reduces the gender gap in utilization, but effects are modest and limited to girls and young women. In the presence of gender bias, increasing access to and subsidizing social services may increase levels of female utilization but fail to address gender inequalities without actions that specifically target females.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Governance, Health Care Policy, Women, Inequality, Health Insurance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia