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Untouchability And Public Infrastructure

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Bros

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CSH - Centre de Sciences Humaines)

  • Mathieu Couttenier

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

Caste rules prohibit the sharing of water between castes as a contact made by an untouchable with water ritually taints the source. Despite untouchability practices being outlawed by the Constitution of India, they are still vigorous and violently enforced. This is what is investigated in this article. The aim is to evidence a relationship between the number of acts of violence against untouchables and the way water is distributed. Our results show that, the more individual the source, the less scope there is for potential ritual pollution and hence, the lower the number of violent acts against untouchables. This is the first analysis, to the best of our knowledge, that quantifies and evidences the enforcement of untouchability rules with regard to water distribution. This paper underlines that water improvement programs have the nice side effect of alleviating caste based violence on top of improving sanitation.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Bros & Mathieu Couttenier, 2010. "Untouchability And Public Infrastructure," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00542235, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00542235
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00542235
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Caste-based crimes and economic status: Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 204-226.
    2. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2012. "Making up people -- the effect of identity on preferences and performance in a modernizing society," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6223, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Castes; India; water distribution; infrastructures; violence.; Inde; distribution d'eau;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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