Inter-Caste Differences in Formal Sector Earnings in India: Has the Rise of Caste-Based Politics had an Impact?
Since 1989, there has been a sharp increase in the role of caste in determining political fortunes at both state and federal levels in India. As a consequence, significant inter-caste differences in earnings have the potential to stall the process of economic reforms. Yet, the patterns and determinants of such differences remain unexplored. We address this lacuna in the literature, and explore the determinants of the differences in inter-caste earnings in India during the 1987-99 period, using the 43rd and 55th rounds of National Sample Survey (NSS). Our results suggest that earnings differences between upper castes and SC/ST have declined between 1987 and 1999, and (b) inter-caste differences in earnings can be explained largely by corresponding differences in educational endowment and returns on age (and, hence, experience). However, differences in returns on education do not explain inter-caste earnings differences to a great extent.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Revised from an earlier paper, "Earnings Inequality in India: Has the Rise of Caste and Religion Based Politics in India had an Impact?", IZA Discussion paper No 2008, March, 2006. The authors would like to thank Ralitza Dimova, Olivier Bargain, Zhang Zhou, Indraneel Dasgupta and seminar participants at Keele University for their helpful comments. They remain responsible for all remaining errors.|
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