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Gender inequality and caste: Field experimental evidence from India


  • Zenou, Yves
  • Islam, Asad
  • Pakrashi, Debayan
  • Sahoo, Soubhagya
  • Wang, Liang Choon


Using a field experiment in India where patients are randomly assigned to rank among a set of physicians of the same gender but with different castes and years of experience, we show that the differences in patients’ physician choices are consistent with gender-based statistical discrimination. Labor market experience cannot easily overcome the discrimination that female doctors suffer. Further, we find that gender discrimination is greater for lower caste doctors, who typically suffer from caste discrimination. Given the increasing share of professionals from a lower caste background, our results suggest that the ‘intersectionality’ between gender and caste leads to increased gender inequality among professionals in India

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  • Zenou, Yves & Islam, Asad & Pakrashi, Debayan & Sahoo, Soubhagya & Wang, Liang Choon, 2021. "Gender inequality and caste: Field experimental evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 16736, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:16736

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    Cited by:

    1. Islam, Asad & Pakrashi, Debayan & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Wang, Liang Choon, 2021. "Stigma and misconceptions in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: A field experiment in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 278(C).
    2. Neha Agarwal & Anaka Aiyar & Andrew Bergmann & Joseph Cummins & Jingyan Guo & Vaishali Jain, 2024. "Caste Differences in Child Growth: Disentangling Endowment and Investment Effects," Working Papers 202401, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item


    Gender discrimination; Statistical discrimination; Caste discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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