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Was the Mandal Commission Right? Living Standard Differences between Backward Classes and Other Social Groups in India

  • Ira N. Gang

    ()

  • Kunal Sen

    ()

  • Myeong-Su Yun

    ()

Affirmative action has been at the heart of public policies towards the socially disadvantaged in India. Compensatory discrimination policies which have been adopted for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) since independence were recommended for Other Backward Classes (OBC) by the Mandal Commission established by the Indian government in 1979. We examine why OBC have lower living standards, as measured by per capita household consumption expenditures, relative to the mainstream population, and whether these reasons are similar to those observed for SC and ST. We find that while the causes of the living standard gap for the OBC are broadly similar to those for the SC and ST, the role of educational attainment in explaining the gap is higher in imporatnce for the OBC.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 08-12.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:08-12
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  1. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
  2. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2008. "Poverty In Rural India: Caste And Tribe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(1), pages 50-70, 03.
  3. Vani K. Borooah, 2005. "Caste, Inequality, and Poverty in India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 399-414, 08.
  4. Richard Palmer-Jones & Kunal Sen, 2003. "What has luck got to do with it? A regional analysis of poverty and agricultural growth in rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 1-31.
  5. Borooah, Vani & Dubey, Amaresh & Iyer, Sriya, 2007. "The Effectiveness of Jobs Reservation: Caste, Religion, and Economic Status in India," MPRA Paper 19421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Dubey, Amaresh & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis & Wadhwa, Wilima, 2001. "Occupational Structure and Incidence of Poverty in Indian Towns of Different Sizes," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 49-59, February.
  7. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Kijima, Yoko, 2006. "Caste and Tribe Inequality: Evidence from India, 1983-1999," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 369-404, January.
  9. Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Chakrabarty, Manisha, 2006. "Earnings Inequality in India: Has the Rise of Caste and Religion Based Politics in India Had an Impact?," IZA Discussion Papers 2008, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. S. Mahendra Dev, 2008. "India," Chapters, in: Handbook on the South Asian Economies, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
  11. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
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