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Don't Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action and Everyday Discrimination

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  • Victoire GIRARD

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Abstract

This article investigates whether affirmative action, in the form of electoral quotas, affects group-based discrimination. The redistributive effect of quotas is subject to debate, and their ultimate target is discrimination. To identify the effect of electoral quotas, I take advantage of their rotation across space and over time in India. To proxy discrimination, I use a measure of caste-based exclusion from a public infrastructure (namely, streets). In 2006, 44.5% household members of the marginalized castes labeled Scheduled Castes (SC) still suffered from caste-based exclusions. I document that ongoing SC quotas reduce the likelihood of caste-based exclusion for members of the SCs by about one fifth. The results also imply that the effect is not persistent: it disappears with the end of the SC quota. From a policy-maker’s perspective, these results are mixed since electoral quotas do affect everyday discrimination, even if the effect does not last. These results are consistent with a temporary change in the behavior of members of the dominant castes after a one-shot electoral quota. These results are inconsistent with either a change in the stereotypes held by members of the dominant castes, or a change in the aspirations of members of the lower castes.
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  • Victoire GIRARD, 2016. "Don't Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action and Everyday Discrimination," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2440, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
  • Handle: RePEc:leo:wpaper:2440
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    Cited by:

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    2. Fallucchi, Francesco & Quercia, Simone, 2018. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 23-40.
    3. Victoire GIRARD, 2017. "Stabbed in the back: Does sabotage follow mandated political representation?," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2544, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    4. Paudel, Jayash & Ryu, Hanbyul, 2018. "Natural disasters and human capital: The case of Nepal’s earthquake," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-12.
    5. Brown, Alasdair & Chowdhury, Subhasish M., 2017. "The hidden perils of affirmative action: Sabotage in handicap contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 273-284.
    6. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve-González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2020. "Heterogeneity, Leveling the Playing Field, and Affirmative Action in Contests," Economics Series Working Papers 915, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Francesco Fallucchi & Simone Quercia, 2016. "Affirmative action and retaliation in experimental contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

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    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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