Does Affirmative Action Affect Productivity In The Indian Railways?
Our objective in this paper is to shed some empirical light on a claim often made by critics of affirmative action policies: that increasing the representation of members of marginalized communities in jobs – and especially in relatively skilled positions – comes at a cost of reduced efficiency. We undertake a systematic empirical analysis of productivity in the Indian Railways in order to determine whether increasing proportions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in railway employment – largely a consequence of India's affirmative action policies – have actually reduced productive efficiency in the railway system. We find no evidence that higher percentages of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the railway labour force have reduced productivity. Indeed, some of our results suggest that the opposite is true, providing tentative support for the claim that greater labour force diversity boosts productivity.
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