IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income Inequality and Caste in Village India


  • Vikas Rawal

    (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,

  • Madhura Swaminathan

    (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.)


In this paper, we examine inequality in incomes between households of different castes in rural India, using a unique dataset comprising household data from a cross-section of eight villages across four States. The focus of this paper is on Dalit or Scheduled Caste households. We begin with very simple measures of differences between groups, such as proportional representation in different quintiles and the frequency distribution of households across income levels in different social groups. We then estimate a standard GE(2) inequality index along with its decomposition by caste. Lastly, we compute an alternative benchmark for assessing the share of between-group inequality in total inequality as suggested by Elbers, Lanjouw, Mistiaen, and Ozler (ELMO 2008). Our analysis shows high levels of income inequality between households of different caste groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Vikas Rawal & Madhura Swaminathan, 2011. "Income Inequality and Caste in Village India," Journal, Review of Agrarian Studies, vol. 1(2), pages 108-133, July-Dece.
  • Handle: RePEc:fas:journl:v:1:y:2011:i:2:p:108-133

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Krishna, V. & Vikraman, S. & Aravalath, L., 2018. "Caste-based social segregation and access to public extension services in India," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276944, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    income; between-group inequality; caste; India; village;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fas:journl:v:1:y:2011:i:2:p:108-133. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. VK Ramachandran). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.