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The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India

  • Chin, Aimee

    ()

    (University of Houston)

  • Prakash, Nishith

    ()

    (University of Connecticut)

We examine the impact of political reservation for disadvantaged minority groups on poverty. To address the concern that political reservation is endogenous in the relationship between poverty and reservation, we take advantage of the state-time variation in reservation in state legislative assemblies in India that arises from national policies that cause reservations to be revised and the time lags with which the revised reservations are implemented due to the timing of state elections. Using data on sixteen major Indian states for the period 1960-1992, we find that increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes significantly reduces poverty while increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes has no impact on poverty. Political reservation for Scheduled Tribes has a greater effect on rural poverty than urban poverty, and appears to benefit people near the poverty line as well as those far below it.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4391.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2011, 96 (2), 265-277
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4391
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  2. Rohini Pande, 2002. "Can mandated political representation increase policy influence for disadvantaged minorities? Theory and evidence from India," Discussion Papers 0102-62, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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  8. Bertrand, Marianne & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2010. "Affirmative action in education: Evidence from engineering college admissions in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 16-29, February.
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  16. Esther Duflo, 2005. "Why Political Reservations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 668-678, 04/05.
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  21. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
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