Working Papers

COVID-19 and Period Products Usage among Menstruating Women in Urban and Rural India

Babbar, Karan; Dev, Pritha
Title : COVID-19 and Period Products Usage among Menstruating Women in Urban and Rural India
Authors : Babbar, Karan; Dev, Pritha
Publication Date : 18-Nov-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-11-03
Abstract : This paper estimates the impact of the lockdown across various zones on the period product consumption for menstruating women in India. We have used the national-level panel data from the CMIE\'s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) database across 510 districts of India, along with the lockdown zones data. Our study uses a robust strategy to exploit the temporal and spatial variation of the lockdown by using difference-in-difference estimates on period products expenditure. Our results show reduction of 27% in period products consumption in red zone districts compared to the green zone districts. There is a strong need to create robust infrastructure to ensure delivery of period products, especially during emergencies.
Click here to Download (English) File

Modelling the impact of Ovulatory Cycle Knowledge on the number of children and age of women at first birth

Babbar, Karan; Dev, Pritha
Title : Modelling the impact of Ovulatory Cycle Knowledge on the number of children and age of women at first birth
Authors : Babbar, Karan; Dev, Pritha
Publication Date : 18-Nov-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-11-04
Abstract : This study tries to bridge the gap by establishing the causal impact of ovulatory cycle knowledge (OCK) on the number of children and months to the first birth. We have analysed the data of 459957 women aged 15 to 34 using the Indian Demographic Health Survey. Our results establish a causal link and show that OCK is significantly and negatively associated with the number of children and months to the first birth. Governments and policymakers should focus on interventions targeting behavioural change to improve the OCK, especially for girls from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Click here to Download (English) File

Learning to Play the Box-Sizing Game: A Machine Learning Approach for Solving the E-commerce Packaging Problem

Kandula, Shanthan; Krishnamoorthy, Srikumar; Roy, Debjit
Title : Learning to Play the Box-Sizing Game: A Machine Learning Approach for Solving the E-commerce Packaging Problem
Authors : Kandula, Shanthan; Krishnamoorthy, Srikumar; Roy, Debjit
Publication Date : 17-Nov-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-11-02
Abstract : E-commerce packages are notorious for their inefficient usage of space. More than one-quarter volume of a typical e-commerce package comprises air and filler material. The inefficient usage of space significantly reduces the transportation and distribution capacity increasing the operational costs. Therefore, designing an optimal set of packaging box sizes is imperative for improving efficiency. Though prior approaches for determining the optimal box sizes exist, they cannot be applied due to the wide range of SKUs hosted by the e-commerce warehouses. Besides, designing a few tens of boxes for covering hundreds of thousands of SKUs that span a wide range of sizes is impractical with the integer programming formulations used by the conventional approaches. This article proposes a scalable three-stage optimization framework that combines unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, and tree search to design optimal box sizes. More specifically, the package optimization problem is formulated into a sequential decision-making task called the box-sizing game. A neural network agent is then designed to play the game and learn control policies to solve the problem. In addition, a tree-search operator is developed to improve the performance of the learned policies. The proposed framework is evaluated on real-world and synthetic datasets against standard metaheuristics and industry benchmarks. Results indicate the robustness and superiority of the approach in generating industry-strength solutions. Specifically, the packaging box assortments generated by the framework are 5% to 7.5% better than the industry baselines.
Click here to Download (English) File

Gold is Old: Noble Metal in Indian Economy through Ages

Deodhar, Satish Y.
Title : Gold is Old: Noble Metal in Indian Economy through Ages
Authors : Deodhar, Satish Y.
Publication Date : 02-Nov-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-11-01
Abstract : For millennia, gold is considered auspicious in India and consumers have a fascination for possessing gold, gold jewellery, and gold coins. In this paper I document the sacredness associated with gold, the ancient Indian references to gold jewellery, availability and technology of extracting gold in those times, minting of gold coins and its function as a medium of exchange and store of value, and accumulation of gold stock due to favourable trade with the Occident in the common era. I draw attention to Indian obsession with gold in modern times, when none is produced domestically and it contributing negatively to India\'s external account. The gargantuan stock of about 24,245 tonnes of gold in India has to be considered as accumulated hoardings and not accumulated savings. Along with increasing the propensity of flow of savings going into financial markets and not in physical gold; suggestions are made to popularize and improve implementation of gold monetization scheme (GMS). This will re-channel idle stock of gold into financial markets and reduce deficit on the external account.
Click here to Download (English) File

Right to Research and Copyright Law: From Photocopying to Shadow Libraries

Ram Mohan, M.P.; Gupta, Aditya
Title : Right to Research and Copyright Law: From Photocopying to Shadow Libraries
Authors : Ram Mohan, M.P.; Gupta, Aditya
Publication Date : 24-Sep-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-09-03
Abstract : Academic research and publishing are facing a crisis. The importance of access to academic literature in an interconnected world, the ever-growing cost of subscriptions to this literature, different revenue models of journals, and reducing or stagnant library budgets are pushing research and the academic community to find alternatives for academic research and publications. In its 25 years of existence, the open access movement and models which sought to contain the crisis have become the subject of considerable criticism. At the same time, a significant portion of academic literature remains locked behind steep paywalls. This has led to the growth of pirate websites and shadow libraries which have been met with forceful legal retribution by the publishers using Copyright laws. Using the Sci-Hub case, which is currently facing copyright infringement by a group of publishers before the Delhi High Court, the article evaluates the Open Access Movement, fair dealing in copyright law, academic piracy, and courts cases in the United States, India, and other countries, within the broad meaning of the right to research. The paper concludes that the purposive interpretation of the Copyright Law may have an answer enabling a just outcome.
Click here to Download (English) File

Targeted interventions: Consumption dynamics and distributional effects

Chakrabarti, Anindya S.; Mishra, Abinash; Mohaghegh, Mohsen
Title : Targeted interventions: Consumption dynamics and distributional effects
Authors : Chakrabarti, Anindya S.; Mishra, Abinash; Mohaghegh, Mohsen
Publication Date : 13-Sep-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-09-02
Abstract : Income distribution-based targeted interventions are quite common in developing economies. However, often due to institutional frictions, identification of the recipients happens at a lower frequency than the frequency of movement across income groups, leading to mis-identification of true and false recipients. What are the general equilibrium effects of such interventions? To measure the effects, we develop a heterogeneous agent production economy where agents face uninsurable income risks and we calibrate it to a novel panel dataset on monthly household income and consumption in India. We study the effects of persistent (identity-based) shocks as opposed to the usual temporary (income-based) income shocks, the difference being that in persistent payments individuals are guaranteed a payment across periods, regardless of their income status in future. We find that temporary interventions have muted distributional effects, while identity-based stimulus of the same size give rise to more prominent effects. In particular, a persistent income shock to the poorest decile equivalent to 0.6% of GDP leads to a 0.543% increase in consumption.
Click here to Download (English) File

Optimal Transport based Drift Detection for Sensor Streams: Method and Applications in Transportation

Laha, A. K.; Verma, Shikha
Title : Optimal Transport based Drift Detection for Sensor Streams: Method and Applications in Transportation
Authors : Laha, A. K.; Verma, Shikha
Publication Date : 09-Sep-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-09-01
Abstract : With increasing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) across the transportation sector, there is a growing need for developing algorithms for analyzing data streams. Due to dynamic operating environment conditions in the transportation domain, the nature of the data streams frequently change and static predictive models are often not successful when dealing with, non-stationary data streams. Further, labelled data is often unavailable or is costly to acquire in real time. Thus, effective algorithms for such problems would aim to maximize accuracy while minimizing the labelled data requirements. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm namely, the Optimal Transport based Drift Detection (OTDD) algorithm, that aims to address the accuracy-labeling requirement trade-off. Experiments on artificial and real-life data sets from the transportation domain demonstrate that the OTDD algorithm performs better than some of the widely used competing algorithms in addressing the accuracy-labeling requirement trade-off.
Click here to Download (English) File

Tracing Director Liability Framework during Borderline Insolvency & Corporate Failure in India

Ram Mohan, M.P.; Shah, Urmil
Title : Tracing Director Liability Framework during Borderline Insolvency & Corporate Failure in India
Authors : Ram Mohan, M.P.; Shah, Urmil
Publication Date : 31-Aug-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-08-02
Abstract : The life of a company depends upon the fine balance between its management led by Board of Directors and shareholder, and non-shareholder constituencies acting as the risk bearers. The Board of Directors therefore are subjected to fiduciary duties towards both these constituencies at all financial phase of the company-solvency, insolvency and borderline insolvency. The director liability framework in India is currently split with obligations enshrined under the Companies Act, 2013 during solvency and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 during insolvency and borderline stage. The lack of judicial interpretation and scholarly discourse on the insolvent and borderline insolvent director liability framework has resulted in several practical challenges. To understand parallels, the paper comparatively analyzes the liability framework as existing under the corporate and insolvency laws of the United States and the United Kingdom with Indian insolvency law. The paper suggests that there is a need to align the Indian corporate and insolvency law through statutory measures to increase the remedial protections available to creditors during borderline insolvency. The paper also highlights mitigation measures which can be undertaken by the management to reduce the scope for director liability, until legislative or judicial clarity is provided on the framework.
Click here to Download (English) File

Treatment of Intellectual Property License in Insolvency: Analysing Indian law in comparison with the U.S. and U K

Ram Mohan, M.P.; Gupta, Aditya
Title : Treatment of Intellectual Property License in Insolvency: Analysing Indian law in comparison with the U.S. and U K
Authors : Ram Mohan, M.P.; Gupta, Aditya
Publication Date : 12-Aug-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-08-01
Abstract : A bankrupt debtor\'s ability to escape unprofitable contracts, enshrined in Section 365 of the American Bankruptcy Code, is considered central to a successful reorganisation within Chapter 11. The ambit of this power and the consequence of its application has been the subject of unceasing legal and business controversy. Intellectual property licenses assumed the forefront of this controversy in 1985 when the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that Section 365 includes a unilateral power to rescind an Intellectual Property License. Congress reacted to the Court\'s decision by amending Section 365 and legislating specific protections for Intellectual Property Licensees. This paper explores the American jurisprudence on the treatment of intellectual property licenses during bankruptcy and examines them within the insolvency regimes of the United Kingdom and India. The study reveals an important legal deficiency: neither jurisdiction incorporates any explicit protections for Intellectual Property Licenses during bankruptcy. Further, we find no substantive provisions that deal with the treatment of ongoing contracts during Corporate Insolvency Resolution Proceedings in India and Administration in the UK. For India, this raises an important issue relating to the desirability of a resolution professional\'s ability to interfere with pre-petition IP licensing agreements. The authors underline the importance of such interference and suggest amendments to the Indian insolvency regime to deal with intellectual property licenses during bankruptcy.
Click here to Download (English) File

Pandemic Panic? Effects of Health System Capacity on Firm Confidence During COVID-19

Gopalakrishnan, Balagopal; Lim, Jamus Jerome; Mohapatra, Sanket
Title : Pandemic Panic? Effects of Health System Capacity on Firm Confidence During COVID-19
Authors : Gopalakrishnan, Balagopal; Lim, Jamus Jerome; Mohapatra, Sanket
Publication Date : 22-Jul-2021
Year : 2021
Publication Code : WP 2021-07-02
Abstract : In this study, we examine the impact of health system capacity and government responses on firms\' business confidence in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a sample of firm-level data from 53 countries, we find that ex ante proactive measures - such as health spending by the public and private sectors and availability of medical staff - have a favorable impact on the firms\' perceptions of risk and sentiment. This effect reduces as the number of COVID-19 cases rise, possibly as a result of the drain on a country\'s health resources. We also find that the ex post reactive measures - such as health and containment actions, and the overall quality of government response - also play a role in bolstering business confidence. These effects vary by firm size and the level of development of the economy, and are largely impervious to prior epidemic experience.
Click here to Download (English) File