NCAER is organizing a seminar by Professor Sonalde Desai on “A Glass Half Full: Changes in Indian Standards of Living since 2012”. Dr Partha Mukhopadhyay, Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, will discuss the paper.
The National Sample Survey (NSS), the flagship survey providing information on standards of living in India, has recently come under criticism as the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) chose not to release the results of the 2017-18 NSS Consumption Expenditure Survey. The NSSO has noted that the data quality for this survey is unreliable. One of the challenges facing the interpretation of consumption data over this period is the difficulty in disentangling long-term, secular changes in consumption expenditure from the short-term shock caused by the November 2016 demonetisation, which led to a cash shortage and is believed to have adversely affected the incomes of small businesses, informal workers, and others dependent on cash, and therefore their consumption. In her paper, Desai uses data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) to provide an independent assessment of changes in living standards for 4,828 households in the states of Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand during 2011-12 and 2017, and compares these to the changes in living standards between 2004-05 and 2011-12, based also on the IHDS.
Sonalde Desai holds a joint appointment as Professor at NCAER and Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. She is the Director of NCAER’s National Data Innovation Centre. At NCAER and Maryland, she leads the India Human Development Survey, India’s only nationally representative longitudinal, household panel dataset, with IHDS1 in 2004-05, IHDS2 in 2011-12, and IHDS3 scheduled to start data collection in 2020. IHDS data have been used by over 9,000 users worldwide and has led to nearly 500 papers and dissertations. Desai is a demographer whose work deals with social inequalities based on gender and class in education, employment and maternal and child health, and locates such inequalities within the political economy of the country or region. While much of her research is on India and South Asia, she has also done comparative studies in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Desai has published widely in a number of sociology and demography journals, including the American Sociological Review, Demography, Population and Development Review and Feminist Studies. She has a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University, an MA in Sociology from Case Western., and a BA in Sociology from the University of Bombay.
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