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Constitutional Implementation of Vertical and Horizontal Reservations in India: A Unified Mechanism for Civil Service Allocation and College Admissions

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  • Tayfun Sönmez

    () (Boston College)

  • M. Bumin Yenmez

    (Boston College)

Abstract

In order to address the historic discrimination faced by various communities under the caste system, a comprehensive affirmative action system exists in India, reserving access to government jobs and to enrollment in higher educational institutions. While there is a Supreme Court-mandated mechanism to implement these reservations when the positions are homogeneous, no mechanism is provided when the positions are heterogeneous. This gap results in widespread adoption of unconstitutional mechanisms, countless lawsuits, regular judicial review, and inconsistent judgements including at the Supreme Court level. We identify the root cause of all these challenges, and propose a design to overcome them.

Suggested Citation

  • Tayfun Sönmez & M. Bumin Yenmez, 2019. "Constitutional Implementation of Vertical and Horizontal Reservations in India: A Unified Mechanism for Civil Service Allocation and College Admissions," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 978, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:978
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Afacan, Mustafa Oǧuz, 2017. "Some further properties of the cumulative offer process," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 656-665.
    2. Tayfun Sönmez & M. Bumin Yenmez, 2019. "Affirmative Action in India via Vertical and Horizontal Reservations," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 977, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Jan 2020.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Sonmez, Tayfun & Utku Unver, M., 2005. "Pairwise kidney exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 151-188, December.
    4. Tayfun Sönmez & Tobias B. Switzer, 2013. "Matching With (Branch‐of‐Choice) Contracts at the United States Military Academy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(2), pages 451-488, March.
    5. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488.
    6. Kominers, Scott Duke & Sönmez, Tayfun, 2016. "Matching with slot-specific priorities: theory," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    7. Ehlers, Lars & Hafalir, Isa E. & Yenmez, M. Bumin & Yildirim, Muhammed A., 2014. "School choice with controlled choice constraints: Hard bounds versus soft bounds," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 648-683.
    8. Alexander Westkamp, 2013. "An analysis of the German university admissions system," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(3), pages 561-589, August.
    9. Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "Bidding for Army Career Specialties: Improving the ROTC Branching Mechanism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 186-219.
    10. Umut Mert Dur & Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2016. "Explicit vs. Statistical Preferential Treatment in Affirmative Action: Theory and Evidence from Chicago’s Exam Schools," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 906, Boston College Department of Economics.
    11. Schummer, James & Abizada, Azar, 2017. "Incentives in landing slot problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 29-55.
    12. Andersson, Tommy, 2017. "Refugee Matching as a Market Design Application," Working Papers 2017:16, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    13. Orhan Ayg?n & Tayfun S?nmez, 2013. "Matching with Contracts: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 2050-2051, August.
    14. Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2010. "Course Bidding At Business Schools," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 99-123, February.
    15. Fragiadakis, Daniel & Troyan, Peter, 2017. "Improving matching under hard distributional constraints," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Parag A. Pathak & Alex Rees-Jones & Tayfun Sönmez, 2020. "Reversing Reserves," NBER Working Papers 26963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Orhan Aygun & Bertan Turhan, 2020. "Designing Direct Matching Mechanism for India with Comprehensive Affirmative Action," Papers 2004.13264, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2020.
    3. Aygün, Orhan & Turhan, Bertan, 2020. "Dynamic reserves in matching markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    4. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Unver & M. Bumin Yenmez, 2020. "Leaving No Ethical Value Behind: Triage Protocol Design for Pandemic Rationing," NBER Working Papers 26951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Parag A. Pathak & Alex Rees-Jones & Tayfun Sönmez, 2020. "Immigration Lottery Design: Engineered and Coincidental Consequences of H-1B Reforms," NBER Working Papers 26767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dur, Umut & Pathak, Parag A. & Sönmez, Tayfun, 2020. "Explicit vs. statistical targeting in affirmative action: Theory and evidence from Chicago's exam schools," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    7. Orhan Aygun & Bertan Turhan, 2020. "Matching with Generalized Lexicographic Choice Rules," Papers 2004.13261, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2020.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Market design; matching; affirmative action; deferred acceptance;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design

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