ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond Introductory Theory

Introductory models in public economics find cash transfers as welfare-maximising policies. However, a large body of literature finds support for in-kind transfers in the context of the developing world. Focusing on India, this article intends to outline two streams of thought on how welfare programmes can be structured for the maximisation of welfare, both from an empirical and theoretical basis. By synthesising the two streams, this article finds the optimality of policy design to be linked with specific contexts and shows that a blanket policy may lead to suboptimal results in India and other developing countries with similar characteristics.

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