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A Distributional Analysis of Social Group Inequality in Rural India

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  • Azam, Mehtabul

    ()
    (Oklahoma State University)

Abstract

This paper examines the differences in welfare, as measured by per capita expenditure (PCE), between social groups in rural India across the entire welfare distribution. The paper establishes that the disadvantage suffered by two historically disadvantaged groups – Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) – is underestimated when the comparison group is Non-SCs/STs rather than general category (mostly higher castes). The ST households are the most disadvantaged followed by the SC and the Other Backward Caste households with respect to general category households, and the disadvantage exists across the entire distribution. Better covariates and better returns to those covariates contribute to the advantage of the general category households. The findings suggest that the policies to raise the human capital and strengthening the other productive assets of the SC and the ST households must remain a focus of attention besides promoting a more active labor market in rural India.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3973.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3973

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Keywords: India; inequality; social groups; quantile regression decomposition;

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  1. Azam, Mehtabul, 2009. "Changes in Wage Structure in Urban India 1983-2004: A Quantile Regression Decomposition," IZA Discussion Papers 3963, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Borooah, Vani & Dubey, Amaresh & Iyer, Sriya, 2007. "The Effectiveness of Jobs Reservation: Caste, Religion, and Economic Status in India," MPRA Paper 19421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  4. K. Sundaram & Suresh D. Tendulkar, 2003. "Poverty Among Social and Economic Groups In India in the Nineteen Nineties," Working papers 118, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  5. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
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  7. Ashwini Deshpande, 2000. "Does Caste Still Define Disparity? A Look at Inequality in Kerala, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 322-325, May.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," NBER Working Papers 11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gunewardena, Dileni & Van de Walle, Dominique, 2000. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2297, The World Bank.
  10. Deshpande, Ashwini, 2001. "Caste at Birth? Redefining Disparity in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 130-44, February.
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  12. Albrecht, James & van Vuuren, Aico & Vroman, Susan, 2009. "Counterfactual distributions with sample selection adjustments: Econometric theory and an application to the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 383-396, August.
  13. Bertrand, Marianne & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2010. "Affirmative action in education: Evidence from engineering college admissions in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 16-29, February.
  14. Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, 08.
  15. Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun & Kunal Sen, 2002. "Caste, Ethnicity and Poverty in Rural India," Departmental Working Papers 200225, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  16. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  17. Rohit Mutatkar, 2005. "Social group disparities and poverty in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2005-004, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  18. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
  19. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2008. "Poverty In Rural India: Caste And Tribe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(1), pages 50-70, 03.
  20. 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.
  21. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Vesselin Mintchev & Venelin Boshnakov & Alexander Naydenov, 2010. "Sources of Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence from Bulgaria," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 4, pages 39-64.
  2. repec:wii:bpaper:bowp:089 is not listed on IDEAS

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