Discrimination in an elite labour market? Job placements at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
Using data on the IIM-Ahmedabad's 2006 batch of MBA graduates, we find that SC/ST (Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe) graduates get significantly lower wages (between 19 and 35 percent depending on the exchange rate used to convert foreign currencies) than those in the general category. This difference disappears once the lower GPAs (Grade Point Averages) of SC/ST candidates are accounted for, suggesting that the large wage difference is due to the weaker (on average) academic performance of SC/ST candidates. Controlling for work experience and GPA, there is no wage penalty to being female. Moreover, unlike the case in US and British labour markets, there is only weak evidence of wage premium to being more attractive, where attractiveness was measured in the standard manner by anonymous ratings of passport-type photographs by twenty raters. The study suggests that in the absence of any serious attempt to equalise school-level opportunities, the current policy of reservations at elite educational institutions will be insufficient to equalise career outcomes even for the minority of SC/ST candidates that can benefit from them.
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