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Hate Crimes in India-- An Economic Analysis of Violence and Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

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  • Smriti Sharma

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)

Abstract

Crimes against the historically marginalized Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) by the upper castes in India represent an extreme form of prejudice and discrimination. In this paper, we investigate the effect of changes in relative material standards of living between the SC/ST and upper castes, as measured by consumption expenditures, on changes in the incidence of crimes against SC/ST. Using official district level crime data for the period 2001-10, we find a positive association between crimes and expenditure of SC/ST vis-à-vis the upper castes suggesting that a widening of the gap between groups is associated with a decrease in caste-­-based crimes. Moreover, this effect seems to be driven by the upper castes’ responding to changes in status quo. The results are robust to changes in specifications and modeling assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Smriti Sharma, 2012. "Hate Crimes in India-- An Economic Analysis of Violence and Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes," Working papers 213, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deshpande, Ashwani, 2011. "The Grammar of Caste: Economic Discrimination in Contemporary India," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198072034.
    2. Price, Gregory N. & Darity Jr., William A. & Headen Jr., Alvin E., 2008. "Does the stigma of slavery explain the maltreatment of blacks by whites: The case of lynchings," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 167-193, February.
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    Keywords

    Hate Crimes; Castes; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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