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Overlapping Identities under Liberalization: Gender and Caste in India

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  • Ashwini Deshpande

Abstract

This article reviews the major theories on identity and economic outcomes to reiterate that identity affects the material well-being of individuals. Based on two rounds of data from the National Family and Health Survey, this article attempts to examine changes in two of the several identities in India, namely, the gender-caste overlap. The Gender-Caste Development Index (GCDI) from an earlier exercise is used to assess changes in the material standard of living of women within broad caste groups. It turns out that, despite improvements in educational outcomes, substantial intercaste gaps persist within Indian women with major regional variation. The data points cover the period 1992–93 to 1998–99, the start of the liberalization of the Indian economy. Since the data points are separated by only 6–7 years, firm conclusions are not possible; however, based on the evidence from the GCDI, this article comments on the possible links between early liberalization and intergroup disparity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashwini Deshpande, 2007. "Overlapping Identities under Liberalization: Gender and Caste in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 735-760.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2007:p:735-760
    DOI: 10.1086/516763
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashwini Deshpande, 2001. "Caste at Birth? Redefining Disparity in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 130-144, February.
    2. Branko Milanovic, 2004. "Half a World: Regional inequality in five great federations," Urban/Regional 0404002, EconWPA.
    3. Jha,R., 2000. "Reducing Poverty and Inequality in India: Has Liberalization Helped?," Research Paper 204, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:331-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Francavilla, Francesca & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia, 2011. "Does family planning help the employment of women? The case of India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 412-426, October.
    3. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Yalonetzky, Gaston, 2012. "Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes Over Time and Across States," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1151-1163.
    4. Deshpande, Ashwini & Goel, Deepti & Khanna, Shantanu, 2018. "Bad Karma or Discrimination? Male–Female Wage Gaps Among Salaried Workers in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 331-344.
    5. Raghav Gaiha & Ganesh Thapa & Katsushi Imai & Vani S. Kulkarni, 2007. "Endowments, discrimination and deprivation among ethnic groups," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0722, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2013. "How Backward are the Other Backward Classes? Changing Contours of Caste Disadvantage in India," Working Papers id:5422, eSocialSciences.
    7. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2016. "The Changing Contours of Inter group Disparities and the Role of Preferential Policies in a Globalizing World: Evidence from India," Working Papers id:11519, eSocialSciences.
    8. Ashwini Deshpande & Smriti Sharma, 2013. "Entrepreneurship or Survival? Caste and Gender of Small Business in India," Working papers 228, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    9. Menon, Nidhiya & Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen, 2009. "International Trade and the Gender Wage Gap: New Evidence from India's Manufacturing Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 965-981, May.

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