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Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India

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Abstract

Identity is an important determinant of economic behavior. A limitation of the existing literature is the focus on one identity dimension at a time. We show that the multiplicity of identity dimensions matters for economic behavior and that neglecting it may lead policy makers to overlook important, unintended effects of economic policies. We exploit the randomized nature of political reservations for women in India to show that a policy designed along one identity dimension (gender) alters the distribution of the benefits of this policy along another one (caste). We propose an important variation in gender norms across caste groups as a plausible mechanism.

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  • Guilhem Cassan & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India," IHEID Working Papers 18-2017, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp18-2017
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Girard, Victoire, 2018. "Don’t Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action And Everyday Discrimination," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-13.

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    Keywords

    Intersectionality; identity economics; gender; quotas; affirmative action;

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