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Discrimination in an elite labour market? Job placements at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad


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  • Sujoy Chakravarty

    (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi)

  • E. Somanathan

    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)


Using data on the IIM-Ahmedabad's 2006 batch of MBA graduates, we find that SC/ST (Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe) graduates get significantly lower wages (between 19 and 35 percent depending on the exchange rate used to convert foreign currencies) than those in the general category. This difference disappears once the lower GPAs (Grade Point Averages) of SC/ST candidates are accounted for, suggesting that the large wage difference is due to the weaker (on average) academic performance of SC/ST candidates. Controlling for work experience and GPA, there is no wage penalty to being female. Moreover, unlike the case in US and British labour markets, there is only weak evidence of wage premium to being more attractive, where attractiveness was measured in the standard manner by anonymous ratings of passport-type photographs by twenty raters. The study suggests that in the absence of any serious attempt to equalise school-level opportunities, the current policy of reservations at elite educational institutions will be insufficient to equalise career outcomes even for the minority of SC/ST candidates that can benefit from them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 08-01.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:08-01

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  1. Harper, Barry, 2000. " Beauty, Stature and the Labour Market: A British Cohort Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 771-800, Special I.
  2. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. K. Sundaram, 2006. "On Backwardness And Fair Access To Higher Education In India: Some Results From Nss 55th Round Surveys 1999-2000," Working papers 151, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Rakesh Basant & Gitanjali Sen, 2010. "Who Participates in Higher Education in India? Rethinking the Role of Affirmative Action," Working Papers id:2672, eSocialSciences.
  2. Abraham, Vinoj, 2012. "Wages and earnings of marginalized social and religious groups in India: Data sources, scope, limitations and suggestions," MPRA Paper 37799, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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