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Is Education the Panacea for Economic Deprivation of Muslims? Evidence from Wage Earners in India, 1987–2005


  • Bhaumik, Sumon K.

    () (University of Sheffield)

  • Chakrabarty, Manisha

    () (Indian Institute of Management)


Few researchers have examined the nature and determinants of earnings differentials among religious groups, and none has been undertaken in the context of conflict-prone multi-religious societies like the one in India. We address this lacuna in the literature by examining the differences in the average (log) earnings of Hindu and Muslim wage earners in India, during the 1987-2005 period. Our results indicate that education differences between Hindu and Muslim wage earners, especially differences in the proportion of wage earners with tertiary education, are largely responsible for the differences in the average (log) earnings of the two religious groups across the years. By contrast, differences in the returns to education do not explain the aforementioned difference in average (log) earnings. In conclusion, we discuss some policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Chakrabarty, Manisha, 2007. "Is Education the Panacea for Economic Deprivation of Muslims? Evidence from Wage Earners in India, 1987–2005," IZA Discussion Papers 3232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3232

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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:331-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Deshpande, Ashwini & Goel, Deepti & Khanna, Shantanu, 2018. "Bad Karma or Discrimination? Male–Female Wage Gaps Among Salaried Workers in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 331-344.
    3. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar & Gang, Ira N. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2017. "Poverty’s Deconstruction: Beyond the Visible," GLO Discussion Paper Series 147, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Somnath Chattopadhyay, 2014. "Analysis Of Poverty And Efficiency: An Earnings Frontier Approach," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 133-155, April.
    5. Somnath Chattopadhyay & Amita Majumder & Hasanur Jaman, 2014. "Decomposition of inter-regional poverty gap in India: a spatial approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 65-99, February.
    6. Abraham, Vinoj, 2012. "Wages and earnings of marginalized social and religious groups in India: Data sources, scope, limitations and suggestions," MPRA Paper 37799, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ahmed, Salma, 2015. "Dynamics and diversity: How are religious minorities faring in the labour Market in Bangladesh?," MPRA Paper 75153, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Nov 2016.
    8. Somnath Chattopadhyay, 2011. "Earnings efficiency and poverty dominance analysis: a spatial approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2298-2318.
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    More about this item


    earnings gap; decomposition; religion; education;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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