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The Post-Reform Narrowing of Inequality Across Castes: Evidence from the States

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  • Viktoria Hnatkovska
  • Amartya Lahiri

Abstract

The past three decades have seen a sharp macroeconomic takeoff in India. How have these aggregate changes affected the economic disparity between the different social groups? We examine this issue by studying the time series evolution of the economic disparities between scheduled castes and tribes (SC/STs) and non-SC/STs during the period 1983-2005. The distinctive feature of our study is that we exploit the variation in the evolution of these indicators of disparity to determine the role played by alternative factors in accounting for the overall patterns. Broadly, we find that both aggregate growth and political empowerment of SC/STs may have played a significant role in accounting for the declining gaps between these groups during this period.

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File URL: http://indianeconomy.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/working_papers/wp_2012-2.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in its series Working Papers with number 1117.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision: Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:ecq:wpaper:1117

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Web page: http://indianeconomy.columbia.edu/
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Related research

Keywords: India; inequality; castes; convergence; states;

References

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  1. Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Lahiri, Amartya & Paul, Sourabh Bikash, 2010. "Castes and Labor Mobility," Economics working papers viktoria_hnatkovska-2010-, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Oct 2010.
  2. Ito, Takahiro, 2009. "Caste discrimination and transaction costs in the labor market: Evidence from rural North India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 292-300, March.
  3. Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, 08.
  4. Kijima, Yoko, 2006. "Caste and Tribe Inequality: Evidence from India, 1983-1999," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 369-404, January.
  5. Banerjee, Biswajit & Knight, J. B., 1985. "Caste discrimination in the Indian urban labour market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 277-307, April.
  6. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
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