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Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India

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  • Xavier Fontaine

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Katsunori Yamada

    () (ISER - Institute of Social and Economic Research - Osaka University [Osaka])

Abstract

The caste issue dominates a large part of India's social and political life. Caste shapes one's identity. Furthermore, strong tensions exist between castes. Using subjective well-being data, we assess the role economic comparisons play in this society. We focus on both within and between-castes comparisons. Within-caste comparisons appear to reduce well-being. Comparisons between rival castes are found to decrease well-being three times more. We link these results to two models in which economic comparison triggers the actual caste-based behaviours (castes' political demands, discrimination).

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2012. "Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India," PSE Working Papers hal-00711212, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00711212
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00711212v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2016. "Welfare-Reducing Growth And Cost-Benefit Analysis: Essay In Memory Of E.J. Mishan," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(03), pages 1-9, June.

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    Keywords

    Subjective Well-being; Relative Income; Identity; Caste; India; discrimination; Panel Data;

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