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Castes and Labor Mobility

  • Viktoria Hnatkovska
  • Amartya Lahiri
  • Sourabh Paul

We examine the relative fortunes of the historically disadvantaged scheduled castes and tribes (SC/ST) in India in terms of their education attainment, occupation choices, consumption and wages. We study the period 1983-2005 using household survey data from successive rounds of the National Sample Survey. We find that this period has been characterized by a significant convergence of education, occupation distribution, wages and consumption levels of SC/STs toward non-SC/ST levels. Using various decomposition approaches we find that the improvements in education account for a major part of the wage and consumption convergence. (JEL I24, O15, O17, Z13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.4.2.274
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 274-307

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:274-307
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.274
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  1. Stanislav Kolenikov, 2010. "Resampling variance estimation for complex survey data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(2), pages 165-199, June.
  2. Kaivan Munshi, 2011. "Strength in Numbers: Networks as a Solution to Occupational Traps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1069-1101.
  3. Ito, Takahiro, 2009. "Caste discrimination and transaction costs in the labor market: Evidence from rural North India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 292-300, March.
  4. Banerjee, Biswajit & Knight, J. B., 1985. "Caste discrimination in the Indian urban labour market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 277-307, April.
  5. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  6. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  8. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  9. Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, 08.
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