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Identity-Based Policies and Identity Manipulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab

Author

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  • Guilhem Cassan

Abstract

I study identity-marker based policies and demonstrate the existence of identity manipulation. I analyze the impact of the Punjab Alienation of Land Act (1901), a caste-based legislation, on identity manipulation. Using data from the colonial census, I show that a movement of identity manipulation took place in response to the law. I estimate that in 20 years, 7.5 percent of the population that had an incentive to do so manipulated its identity. I then use an accounting exercise to estimate that the amount of mistargeting caused by this manipulation is between 3.9 percent and 8.2 percent of the land distributed. (JEL J15, N35, N45, N55, Q15, Q24, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • Guilhem Cassan, 2015. "Identity-Based Policies and Identity Manipulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 103-131, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:4:p:103-31
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20130290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 10031035-10.
    2. Athreya, Siva & Somanathan, Rohini, 2008. "Quantifying spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 201-206, February.
    3. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2013. "Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 731-753.
    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. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:459-469 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Caste Comparisons: Evidence from India," ISER Discussion Paper 0867, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    3. Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Lore Vandewalle, 2011. "Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India," Working Papers 1117, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    4. Guilhem Cassan & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India," IHEID Working Papers 18-2017, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    5. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Muhammad Haseeb & Kate Vyborny, 2016. "Imposing institutions: Evidence from cash transfer reform in Pakistan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Fontaine, Xavier & Yamada, Katsunori, 2014. "Caste Comparisons in India: Evidence From Subjective Well-Being Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 407-419.
    8. Alvaredo, Facundo & Bergeron, Augustin & Cassan, Guilhem, 2017. "Income concentration in British India, 1885–1946," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 459-469.
    9. Hemanshu Kumar & Rohini Somanathan, 2016. "Affirmative action and long-run changes in group inequality in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 085, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Girard, Victoire, 2018. "Don’t Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action And Everyday Discrimination," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-13.
    11. Karachiwalla, Naureen, 2013. "A teacher unlike me: Social distance, learning, and intergenerational mobility in developing countries," MPRA Paper 64439, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 May 2015.
    12. repec:eee:exehis:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:36-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Emily Nix & Nancy Qian, 2015. "The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940," NBER Working Papers 20828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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