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Caste Based Discrimination: Evidence and Policy

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  • Siddique, Zahra

    (University of Bristol)

Abstract

Caste-based quotas in hiring have existed in the public sector in India for decades. Recently there has been debate about introducing similar quotas in private sector jobs. This paper uses an audit study to determine the extent of caste-based discrimination in the Indian private sector. On average low-caste applicants need to send 20 percent more resumes than high-caste applicants to get the same callback. Differences in callback which favor high-caste applicants are particularly large when hiring is done by male recruiters or by Hindu recruiters. This finding suggests that the differences in callback between high and low-caste applicants are not entirely due to statistical discrimination. High-caste applicants are also differentially favored by firms with a smaller scale of operations, while low-caste applicants are favored by firms with a larger scale of operations. This finding is consistent with taste-based theories of discrimination and with commitments made by large firms to hire actively from among low-caste groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Siddique, Zahra, 2008. "Caste Based Discrimination: Evidence and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 3737, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3737
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Singh, Prakarsh, 2016. "Searching for Religious Discrimination among Anganwadi Workers in India: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 10048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Singhari, Smrutirekha & Madheswaran, S., 2016. "Social exclusion and caste discrimination in public and private sectors in India: A decomposition analysis," Working Papers 361, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    3. Ashwini Deshpande, 2013. "Social justice through affirmative action in India: an assessment," Chapters, in: Jeannette Wicks-Lim & Robert Pollin (ed.), Capitalism on Trial, chapter 18, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. S. Madheswaran & Smrutirekha Singhari, 2016. "Social exclusion and caste discrimination in public and private sectors in India: A decomposition analysis," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(2), pages 175-201, June.
    5. Deshpande, Ashwini & Weisskopf, Thomas E., 2014. "Does Affirmative Action Reduce Productivity? A Case Study of the Indian Railways," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 169-180.
    6. Michael Ewens & Bryan Tomlin & Liang Choon Wang, 2014. "Statistical Discrimination or Prejudice? A Large Sample Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 119-134, March.
    7. Kaushik Basu, 2017. "Discrimination as Focal Point: Markets and Group Identity," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 128-138, April.
    8. Rich, Judy, 2014. "What Do Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Tell Us? A Meta Analysis of Studies Conducted since 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 8584, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Singh, Prakarsh, 2016. "Searching for Religious Discrimination among Anganwadi Workers in India: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 10048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Margaret Maurer-Fazio, 2012. "Ethnic discrimination in China's internet job board labor market," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human resources; public policy; discrimination; field experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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