Wednesday, November 18, 2015

21 November 2015: SNU-IIC Lecture Series 2015 - Opportunities and Challenges for India's Financial Diplomacy

Rathin Roy
Director, NIPFP and Member, Seventh Pay Commission

Date: November 21, 2015
Time: 06:30 P.M.

Conference Room 1
Indian International Centre
40, Max Mueller Marg,
New Delhi-110003(INDIA)


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

19 November 2015: Tilting at Titling: Will We Ever Get it Right?

Deepak Sanan
Government of Himachal Pradesh

Incomplete and inconclusive land titling in India pose serious challenges to the conduct of business and often create situations of injustice by facilitating dispossession and displacement. Disputed ownership is commonplace, with many cases under litigation for decades. Mr. Sanan will review the reasons for such infirmities in land titles in India,  explain how the government typically deals with such infirmities, and demonstrate why the government's approach is insufficient to deal with the issue of land titling systematically.

Date: November 19, 2015
Time: 12:30 P.M.

Conference Hall
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)


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Monday, August 17, 2015

21st August 2015: The natural resource curse revisited: theory and evidence from India

Amrita Dhillon
Kings College London

In this paper, we examine the relationship between natural resource rents and governance. We take advantage of a particular political and administrative re-structuring of state government in India. In 2000, three of the largest and poorest states in India (Madhya Pradesh (M.P.), Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Bihar) were each divided into two: the boundaries of the new states happened to coincide with the geographical boundaries of the natural resources (mines in the case of M.P and Bihar, forests in the case of U.P.). We investigate whether the break-up of states, which left rump states without access to natural resources, affected governance, incomes and inequality, with a combination of theory and empirical analysis, using extant survey data from India and data on luminosity, a useful proxy for incomes and activity across villages and districts in India.

Date: August 21, 2014
Time: 11:30 A.M.

Seminar Room 2
Indian Statistical Institute Delhi Centre,
7, S. J. S. Sansanwal Marg,
New Delhi-110016 (INDIA)


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

19 August 2015: Why Economists Need to Take an Interest in Patent Policy

Hazel Moir
Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University

Where large lumpy investments are combined with a relatively fast ability to imitate an invention, the market for invention may fail and useful new inventions will not attract the requisite investment. This perspective on the rationale for patents particularly characterises the pharmaceutical industry.

Efficient and effective patent policy is that which most closely approximates two conditions:

(i) patents are granted only for inventions which would not otherwise occur; and
(ii) patents are granted only where the social benefits (private plus spillover benefits) exceed the social cost of the monopoly grant.

Most economists pay little attention to the patent system, and when they do they often repeat the mantra that “patents are essential to induce innovation”.

This mantra is based on two critical assumptions – that copying knowledge developed by someone else is costless, and that copying is so fast that there is no natural first mover monopoly period. Substantial evidence exists to indicate that both presumptions are false.

A further assumption that economists tend to make about patent systems is that one cannot get a patent unless there is some inventiveness. Again the evidence demonstrates that this assumption is false. Decades of legal doctrine have changed the criteria for patent grant, such that now only a scintilla of inventiveness is required. Such a low requirement means that the second condition for efficient patent policy is breached. Most granted patents incorporate little if any new knowledge and so provide no spillover benefits. 

Date: August 19, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics,
Delhi School of Economics,
New Delhi-110007(INDIA)


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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

23 July 2015: Violence in Pakistan and Who Supports It: Rebutting Conventional Wisdom

C Christine Fair
Georgetown University

Dr Fair will present a fascinating statistical analysis of the different kinds of violence within Pakistan - frequently all clubbed under the title of "terrorism" - and break it down to its constituent elements and supporting factors. 

Date: July 23, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

ORF Conference Room
Observer Research Foundation
20 Rouse Avenue
New Delhi-110002(INDIA)


Please confirm your participation at

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 August 2015: The Nature of the Market for Corporate Control in India

Umakanth Varottil
National University of Singapore

Given its deep and liquid stock markets, India presents a favourable environment for public takeovers. In order to develop and regulate takeover activity, India’s securities regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has enacted specific regulations. While at a broad level these regulations appear to attribute their origins to the UK and other countries that have adopted the UK model or its variants, I argue in this paper that takeover regulation in India bears fundamental differences and unique characteristics that have necessitated special treatment.

Due to the prevalence of concentrated shareholdings in Indian companies, the incidence of hostile takeovers has been negligible. While SEBI’s takeover regulations do not confer much power to the target’s board to set up takeover defences, the nature of concentration of shareholdings and other factors offer sufficient protection to incumbent shareholders and managements against corporate raiders. Hence, substantial attention in India is focused on the mandatory bid rule (MBR), which operates to grant equality of treatment to minority shareholders by conferring them an exit option in case of a change in control. India’s takeover regulations are arguably stringent in implementing the MBR. This impedes valueenhancing takeovers unless they are effected with the concurrence of the controlling shareholders, who could potentially block them.

Added to this, India’s takeover regulations confer benefits on incumbents that would impede a market for corporate control in the conventional sense. For example, promoters can take advantage of creeping acquisition limits, and also certain exemptions from the MBR when they enhance their positions in the company. Hence, while the takeover regulation overtly appears designed to engender a market for corporate control, its operation coupled with the corporate structure and culture in India attenuate the possibility of takeovers.

Relying upon the political economy of takeover regulation, and more specifically the interest group theory, my goal in this paper is to demonstrate the influence of promoters in shaping India’s takeover regulation. I seek to do so both analytically and empirically. While the Indian markets have witnessed a constant stream of takeovers, they are almost entirely organized changes of control in a friendly manner that triggers the MBR. Voluntary, unsolicited offers that are common in the more developed markets are miniscule in number in India.

Date: August 5, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Conference Hall, Ground Floor, R&T Building
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy,
18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110067(INDIA)


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Those who are interested may please confirm your participation to Mr. Bins Sebastian at latest by Tuesday, 4th August 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

22 June 2015: Law without the State

David Friedman
Economist and Legal Scholar

Date: June 22, 2015
Time: 05:00 P.M.

UChicago Center,
DLF Capitol Point,
Baba Kharak Singh Marg,
Connaught Place,
New Delhi- 110 001(INDIA)


Please register for the talk latest by 15 June 2015. For more information or clarifications, please contact Sadaf Hussain ( |+91 99531 33868)