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Evidence on Caste Based Discrimination

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  • Siddique, Zahra

Abstract

Caste based quotas in hiring have existed in the public sector in India for decades. Recently there has been debate about introducing similar quotas in private sector jobs. This paper uses a correspondence study to determine the extent of caste based discrimination in the Indian private sector. On average low-caste applicants need to send 20% more resumes than high-caste applicants to get the same callback. Differences in callback which favor high-caste applicants are particularly large when hiring is done by male recruiters or by Hindu recruiters. This finding provides evidence that differences in callback between high and low-caste applicants are not entirely due to statistical discrimination. High-caste applicants are also differentially favored by firms with a smaller scale of operations, while low-caste applicants are favored by firms with a larger scale of operations. This finding is consistent with taste-based theories of discrimination and with commitments made by large firms to hire actively from among low-caste groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Siddique, Zahra, 2011. "Evidence on Caste Based Discrimination," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 146-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:s1:p:s146-s159 DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2011.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Khamis, Melanie & Prakash, Nishith & Siddique, Zahra, 2012. "Consumption and social identity: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 353-371.
    3. Saugato Datta & Vikram Pathania, 2016. "For whom does the phone (not) ring? Discrimination in the rental housing market in Delhi, India," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Banerjee, Ritwik & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2014. "Awareness Programs and Change in Taste-based Caste Prejudice," IZA Discussion Papers 8446, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 567-604.
    6. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0011-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2017. "Is Caste Destiny? Occupational Diversification among Dalits in Rural India," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(2), pages 476-492, April.
    8. Ashwini Deshpande & Dean Spears, 2012. "Who Is The Identifiable Victim?--Caste Interacts With Sympathy In India," Working papers 211, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    9. Fontaine, Xavier & Yamada, Katsunori, 2014. "Caste Comparisons in India: Evidence From Subjective Well-Being Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 407-419.
    10. Larry L. Howard & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Do employment quotas explain the occupational choices of disadvantaged minorities in India?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 489-513, August.
    11. Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Caste Comparisons: Evidence from India," ISER Discussion Paper 0867, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Ashwini Deshpande & Dean Spears, 2016. "Who Is the Identifiable Victim? Caste and Charitable Giving in Modern India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 299-321.
    13. Prerna Singh & Dean Spears, 2017. "How status inequality between ethnic groups affects public goods provision: Experimental evidence on caste and tolerance for teacher absenteeism in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 129, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 567-604.
    15. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Lei Lei, 2015. "“As rare as a panda”: How facial attractiveness, gender, and occupation affect interview callbacks at Chinese firms," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 68-85, April.
    16. Subha Mani & Saurabh Singhal & Smriti Sharma & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2016. "Caste differences in behaviour and personality Evidence from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 060, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiments; Discrimination; Public policy; Human resources;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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