The business environment in India and the obstacles it poses for firms

PIs: Dr. Vineeta Yadav, Associate Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University.

This is an academic, not-for-profit study funded through a research grant awarded by the Azim Premji Foundation and supported by Pennsylvania State University. The researcher tries to understand the different political, economic and institutional factors that influence the business environment firms face at the national and state levels in India, and why some states are more successful in creating good business environments than others. This survey collected information on the opinions of business organizations and firms about the business environment in India, and their experiences interacting with central and state governments in solving problems and designing policy solutions. For this purpose, Morsel is conducting an interview of 325 business chambers, business associations and law firms who interact with the government on behalf of firms across 10 states in India.

Location : Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow, Patna, Cochin, Kanpur, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad

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Impact of Financial Literacy Program

ShoreBank International Ltd, based in Washington DC, implemented a project on Financial literacy and Sub-K. Sub-K is a mobile banking platform with a growing agent network that targets poor and un(der) banked households in India to give them affordable access to formal financial and transactional services, and to educate Sub-K customers on how to transact despite low literacy and confidence. This survey-based project covered 5 states of India, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattishgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. MORSEL collected primary data from 4000 households and agents of these states.

Location : Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattishgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh

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Financial Capabilities of Rural Low-Income Households in India

GIZ and NABARD have been cooperating in the programme to strengthen the management and operation of Short-Term Cooperative Credit Structure (CCS), to promote access to financial services of self-help group (SHG) members and to enhance Financial Inclusion through Business Correspondents (BCs) in rural areas in India

Microfinance Opportunities (MFO), a US-based NGO, has developed the Financial Capability Index – a methodology to assess the financial capabilities of communities through their own definitions. Jointly the GIZ , NABARD , and MFO feel the need to assess the capabilities of the target group of rural financial services especially among the low income and low literate households in order to use financial services in a beneficial way. MORSEL collected data from 4 States of India namely, Orrisa, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, which was based on Financial Capability Index.

Location : Orrisa, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan

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Consumer Understanding of Branchless Banking

This randomized control trial is evaluating Financial Literacy Program run by FINO Fintech Foundation (FFF) in association with Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) and International Finance Corporation (IFC – The World Bank Group) Using Financial Diaries methodology, MORSEL collected data in the real-time from 12 villages in Jaunpur and Mau districts with the help of notebooks for 52 weeks. Principal investigators could see data online within 24 hours after the survey in the Dropbox.

Location : Jaunpur and Mau districts Uttar Pradesh

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Impact Analysis of Financial Literacy Program

GIZ and NABARD have been cooperating in the programme to strengthen the management and operation of Short-Term Cooperative Credit Structure (CCS), to promote access to financial services of self-help group (SHG) members and to enhance Financial Inclusion through Business Correspondents (BCs) in rural areas in India

Microfinance Opportunities based in Washington DC developed a financial literacy program, and FINO implemented it in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. We evaluated the impact and implementation procedure by surveying Clients and Bandhus (FINO’s agents)

Location : Uttar Pradesh

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Transport, taxation, employment and effect on flow of goods in India : Evidence from Pan India Truck Driver’s survey

PIs: Jonathan Dingel The University of Chicago Booth Prabhat Barnwal Michigan University, University of Chicago Trust


Morsel is collecting data from 12 different cities in 12 states of India. Morsel is collecting data by surveying a total of 1350 truck drivers and 240 transport firms. This research project aims at understanding the effects of policy-induced transportation bottlenecks on the flow of goods in India. It wants to estimate how recent logistics-related reforms associated with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) policy have affected goods movement within the country, domestic trade, and international transactions. It also wants to identify additional bottlenecks and the scope for alleviating them. GST policy is one of the world’s most ambitious tax reforms and some of its components are directly aimed at reducing the costs of interstate freight transport. Most notably, the legislation abolished check posts at state borders and introduced electronic bills to replace paper documents. Reduction of these barriers to interstate transactions is expected to facilitate greater internal and international trade.

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Ethnicity and relationships among local leaders: Evidence from 5 states

PIs: William O'Brochta Washington University

Morsel collected contact information for about 850 Municipal Corporation members in 5 states (Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) by filing RTIs and visiting Corporation offices. Morsel verified the contact information with each Municipal Corporation member by phone. Half of the Corporation members were selected at random for a survey conducted on the phone. Morsel successfully surveyed 400 Corporation members for a survey completion rate of 90%. The researcher wanted to assess the impact of the ethnicity of the leaders on their relationships with each other.