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Revisiting Between-Group Inequality Measurement: An Application to the Dynamics of Caste Inequality in Two Indian Villages

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  • Lanjouw, Peter
  • Rao, Vijayendra

Abstract

Summary Standard approaches to decomposing how much group differences contribute to inequality rarely show significant between-group inequality, and are of limited use in comparing populations with different numbers of groups. We apply an adaptation to the standard approach that remedies these problems to longitudinal household data from two Indian villages--Palanpur in the north and Sugao in the west. In Palanpur we find that the largest Scheduled Caste group failed to share in the gradual rise in village prosperity. This would not have emerged from standard decomposition analysis. However, in Sugao the alternative procedure does not yield any additional insights because income gains have applied relatively evenly across castes.

Suggested Citation

  • Lanjouw, Peter & Rao, Vijayendra, 2011. "Revisiting Between-Group Inequality Measurement: An Application to the Dynamics of Caste Inequality in Two Indian Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 174-187, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:174-187
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    1. Ashwini Deshpande, 2000. "Does Caste Still Define Disparity? A Look at Inequality in Kerala, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 322-325, May.
    2. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    3. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    4. Rohit Mutatkar, 2005. "Social group disparities and poverty in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2005-004, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Frank A. Cowell, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 521-531.
    6. Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "How Much Inequality Can We Explain? A Methodology and an Application to the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 421-430, March.
    7. Anthony Shorrocks & Guanghua Wan, 2005. "Spatial decomposition of inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 59-81, January.
    8. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Peter & Mistiaen, Johan A. & Ozler, Berk, 2005. "Re-interpreting sub-group inequality decompositions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3687, The World Bank.
    9. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166 Elsevier.
    10. Lanjouw, Peter & Stern, Nicholas, 1998. "Economic Development in Palanpur over Five Decades," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288329.
    11. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abraham, Vinoj, 2012. "Wages and earnings of marginalized social and religious groups in India: Data sources, scope, limitations and suggestions," MPRA Paper 37799, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Peter Lanjouw & Rinku Murgai & Nicholas Stern, 2013. "Nonfarm diversification, poverty, economic mobility, and income inequality: a case study in village India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(4-5), pages 461-473, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality decomposition India caste village study;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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