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

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  • Chin, Aimee

    () (University of Houston)

  • Prakash, Nishith

    () (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 4391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4391
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    1. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:605-621 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Larry L. Howard & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Do employment quotas explain the occupational choices of disadvantaged minorities in India?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 489-513, August.
    3. Dilip Mookherjee, 2014. "Accountability of local and state governments in India: an overview of recent research," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 12-41, April.
    4. Das, Sabyasachi & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop & Saroy, Rajas, 2017. "Efficiency Consequences of Affirmative Action in Politics: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 11093, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Hugo Ñopo & Jorge Luis Castañeda, 2012. "Equidad en la Diferencia: Políticas para la Movilidad Social de Grupos de Identidad. Misión de Movilidad Social y Equidad," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010319, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. Gang, Ira N. & Schmillen, Achim, 2017. "Sometimes, winners lose: Economic disparity and indigenization in Kazakhstan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 605-621.
    7. Kaletski, Elizabeth & Prakash, Nishith, 2014. "Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 8387, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Azam, Mehtabul & Prakash, Nishith, 2010. "A Distributional Analysis of the Public-Private Wage Differential in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5132, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & De Benedetto, Marco Alberto, 2014. "The impact of gender quotas on electoral participation: Evidence from Italian municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 141-157.
    10. Niels-Hugo Blunch & Nabanita Datta Gupta, 2014. "Social Networks and Health Knowledge in India: Who You Know or Who You Are?," Economics Working Papers 2014-24, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    11. Mitra, Anirban, 2015. "Mandated Political Representation and Redistribution," MPRA Paper 67004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Kaletski, Elizabeth & Prakash, Nishith, 2016. "Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 50-69.
    13. Nafisa Halim & Kathryn M. Yount & Solveig A. Cunningham & Rohini P. Pande, 2016. "Women’s Political Empowerment and Investments in Primary Schooling in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 813-851, February.
    14. Mori, Yuko & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Does Political Reservation Affect Voting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from India," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-09, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    15. Tandon, Sharad, 2012. "Election Outcomes and Food Security: Evidence from Consumption of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in India," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Kumar Das, Pranab & Kar, Saibal & Kayal, Madhumanti, 2011. "Religious Minorities and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from Rural West Bengal," IZA Discussion Papers 6154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. repec:kap:ijhcfe:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10754-017-9219-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Caste-based crimes and economic status: Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 204-226.
    19. repec:ost:wpaper:345 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Kumar, Sunil Mitra, 2013. "Does Access to Formal Agricultural Credit Depend on Caste?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 315-328.
    21. Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; affirmative action; minorities; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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