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The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India

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  • Aimee Chin
  • Nishith Prakash

Abstract

We examine the impact of political reservation for disadvantaged minority groups on poverty. To address the concern that political reservation is endogenous, we take advantage of the state-time variation in reservation in state legislative assemblies in India generated by national policies that cause reservations to be revised and the time lags with which revised reservations are implemented. Using data on sixteen major Indian states for the period 1960-2000, we find that increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes significantly reduces poverty while increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes has no impact on poverty. Political reservation for Scheduled Tribes has a greater effect on rural poverty than urban poverty, and appears to benefit people near the poverty line as well as those far below it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16509.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Publication status: published as Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "The redistributive effects of political reservation for minorities: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 265-277, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16509

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  4. Angus Deaton & Jean Dreze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination," Working Papers 184, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  5. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
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  8. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
  9. Nishith Prakash, 2010. "Improving the Labor Market Outcomes of Minorities: The Role of Employment Quota," Working papers 2012-32, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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  12. Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
  13. Harry Holzer & David Neumark, 1999. "Assessing Affirmative Action," NBER Working Papers 7323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Craig Johnson & Priya Deshingkar & Daniel Start, 2005. "Grounding the State: Devolution and Development in India's Panchayats," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 937-970.
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  17. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
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Cited by:
  1. Howard, Larry L. & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "Do Employment Quotas Explain the Occupational Choices of Disadvantaged Minorities in India?," IZA Discussion Papers 5894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  3. Azam, Mehtabul & Prakash, Nishith, 2010. "A Distributional Analysis of the Public-Private Wage Differential in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5132, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Marco Alberto De Benedetto, 2012. "The Impact of Gender Quotas on Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," Working Papers 201206, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  5. Kumar, Sunil Mitra, 2013. "Does Access to Formal Agricultural Credit Depend on Caste?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 315-328.
  6. Mori, Yuko & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Does Political Reservation Affect Voting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from India," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-09, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  7. Kumar Das, Pranab & Kar, Saibal & Kayal, Madhumanti, 2011. "Religious Minorities and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from Rural West Bengal," IZA Discussion Papers 6154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Hugo Ñopo & Jorge Luis Castañeda, 2012. "Equidad en la Diferencia: Políticas para la Movilidad Social de Grupos de Identidad. Misión de Movilidad Social y Equidad," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010319, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  9. Tandon, Sharad, 2012. "Election Outcomes and Food Security: Evidence from Consumption of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in India," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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