Episode 180: Elite Imitation in Public Policy

Indian decision makers often blindly copy public policy from abroad, without considering whether it would work in local conditions. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the damage caused by such ‘isomorphic mimicry,’ and why it happens in the first place.
Joint production with IVM Podcasts

Episode 39: Eating Out

Why don’t Indians eat out as much as people in other countries do? Karthik Shashidhar joins Amit Varma in episode 39 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain how we landed up in an equilibrium in which our restaurants prefer ‘tasty’ to ‘healthy’.

Episode 38: Import/Export

The Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 is an example of a policy that harms those it is meant to help. Sudhanshu Neema joins Amit Varma in episode 38 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why.

Episode 37: Obamacare

Obamacare is almost an article of faith for elite American liberals, but it has had devastating Unseen Effects. Economist Sudhanshu Neema, who joins host Amit Varma on episode 37 of The Seen and the Unseen, believes that it was responsible for Trump coming to power. Listen up!

Episode 31: Urban Governance in India

Our cities are in a mess. They are not in such bad shape because of corrupt individuals or apathetic citizens, but because our structures of governance are all messed up. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma to explain why.

Episode 30: Real Estate Prices

Why do real estate prices in India not fall when demand goes down and inventory stops moving? Vivek Kaul plays economic detective to help Amit Varma solve this mystery.

Episode 29: Drug Price Controls

The government of India often fixes the prices of medicine in India so that poor people can afford them. Pavan Srinath joins Amit Varma to discuss the Unseen Effects of this, and how they can be ameliorated.

Episode 28: GST Revisited

In Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen, we had discussed GST — the Goods and Services Tax. Now that it’s actually been implemented, Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma to discuss its Seen and Unseen Effects.

Episode 26: The Right to Property

The Right to Property is the underpinning of all our rights — and yet, the Indian constitution does not consider it a Fundamental Right, though it once did. Constitutional expert Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma to discuss why this right is important, and the consequences of its being weakened in India.

Read show notesEpisode 26: The Right to Property

Episode 25: Farm Loan Waivers

In episode 25 of The Seen and the Unseen, Kumar Anand and Vivek Kaul join Amit Varma to talk about the part farm-loan waivers play in keeping farmers in PPP: Perpetually Planned Poverty.

Episode 22: China’s Influence in South Asia

China has become an influential force in India’s neighbourhood recently. Is this something India should be worried about? Foreign policy expert Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma to allay these fears.

Episode 21: Slums

Slums in India have been both demonized and deified. Some say they are an eyesore to the city; others say they are hotbeds of entrepreneurship. Pavan Srinath joins Amit Varma to take a deeper look at the role slums play in our society.