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Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India

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  • Xavier Fontaine

    ()
    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA))

  • Katsunori Yamada

    ()
    (ISER - Institute of Social and Economic Research - Osaka University)

Abstract

The caste issue dominates a large part of India's social and political life. Caste shapes one's identity. Furthermore, strong tensions exist between castes. Using subjective well-being data, we assess the role economic comparisons play in this society. We focus on both within and between-castes comparisons. Within-caste comparisons appear to reduce well-being. Comparisons between rival castes are found to decrease well-being three times more. We link these results to two models in which economic comparison triggers the actual caste-based behaviours (castes' political demands, discrimination).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number hal-00711212.

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Date of creation: 16 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00711212

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Keywords: Subjective Well-being ; Relative Income ; Identity ; Caste ; India ; discrimination ; Panel Data;

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  15. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586254 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hirschman, Albert O & Rothschild, Michael, 1973. "The Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development; with a Mathematical Appendix," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 544-66, November.
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