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Identity based policies and identity manipulation: evidence from Colonial Punjab

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  • Guilhem Cassan

    ()
    (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

Abstract

I study identity marker based policies in the context of identity manipulation: I measure the extent of identity manipulation caused by such a policy and describe the misallocation of public resource this can lead to in the context of colonial Punjab. In particular, I analyze the impact on caste identity manipulation of the creation of an “agricultural caste” category by the Punjab Alienation of Land Act (1901), the membership of which notably granted access to land distribution by the government. Using original data built from the census of Punjab from 1881 to 1921, I show, using various double and triple differences strategies, that a movement of caste identity manipulation took place in response to the law: ruling out alternative demographic interpretations, estimate that in 20 years, 7.5% of the population that had an incentive to do so manipulated its caste identity. Using a novel data set on land ownership by caste from 1911 to 1931, I then use an accounting exercise to estimate the amount of land misallocation caused by this manipulation between 3.9% and 8.2% of the total land distributed by the government.

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File URL: http://www.fundp.ac.be/eco/economie/recherche/wpseries/wp/1214.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Namur, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1214

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Related research

Keywords: caste; identity; colonialism; land; public policy;

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  1. Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Direct versus Indirect Colonial Rule in India: Long-Term Consequences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 693-713, November.
  2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2006. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Caste Comparisons: Evidence from India," ISER Discussion Paper 0867, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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