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Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India


  • Vani K. Borooah


This paper analyses inequality and poverty in India within the context of caste‐based discrimination. It does so by decomposing the difference between (caste) Hindu and Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households in: their average household incomes; their probabilities of being in different income percentiles; their probabilities of being at different levels of poverty into: a “discrimination effect”, which stems from the fact that a household's income level, into which its (income‐generating) profile translates, depends on whether it is SC/ST; an “attributes (or residual) effect” which stems from the fact that there are systematic differences between SC/ST and Hindu households in their (income‐generating) profiles. The results, based on unit record data for 28,922 households, showed that at least one‐third of the average income/probability differences between Hindu and SC/ST households was due to the “unequal treatment” of the latter.

Suggested Citation

  • Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:9:y:2005:i:3:p:399-414
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9361.2005.00284.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van de Walle, Dominique & Gunewardena, Dileni, 2001. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Viet Nam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-207, June.
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