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Overlapping Identities under Liberalization: Gender and Caste in India

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  • Ashwini Deshpande

Abstract

This article reviews the major theories on identity and economic outcomes to reiterate that identity affects the material well-being of individuals. Based on two rounds of data from the National Family and Health Survey, this article attempts to examine changes in two of the several identities in India, namely, the gender-caste overlap. The Gender-Caste Development Index (GCDI) from an earlier exercise is used to assess changes in the material standard of living of women within broad caste groups. It turns out that, despite improvements in educational outcomes, substantial intercaste gaps persist within Indian women with major regional variation. The data points cover the period 1992–93 to 1998–99, the start of the liberalization of the Indian economy. Since the data points are separated by only 6–7 years, firm conclusions are not possible; however, based on the evidence from the GCDI, this article comments on the possible links between early liberalization and intergroup disparity.

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File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?id=doi:10.1086/516763
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 55 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 735-760

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2007:p:735-760

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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Cited by:
  1. Menon, Nidhiya & Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen, 2009. "International Trade and the Gender Wage Gap: New Evidence from India's Manufacturing Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 965-981, May.
  2. Francavilla, Francesca & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia, 2011. "Does family planning help the employment of women? The case of India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 412-426, October.
  3. Asadullah, Niaz & Yalonetzky, Gaston, 2010. "Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes over Time and across States," IZA Discussion Papers 5146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ashwini Deshpande & Smriti Sharma, 2013. "Entrepreneurship or Survival? Caste and Gender of Small Business in India," Working papers 228, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  5. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2013. "How Backward are the Other Backward Classes? Changing Contours of Caste Disadvantage in India," Working papers 233, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.

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