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Identity based policies and identity manipulation: evidence from Colonial Punjab

Author

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  • Guilhem Cassan

    () (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

Abstract

I study identity marker based policies in the context of identity manipulation: I measure the extent of identity manipulation caused by such a policy and describe the misallocation of public resource this can lead to in the context of colonial Punjab. In particular, I analyze the impact on caste identity manipulation of the creation of an “agricultural caste” category by the Punjab Alienation of Land Act (1901), the membership of which notably granted access to land distribution by the government. Using original data built from the census of Punjab from 1881 to 1921, I show, using various double and triple differences strategies, that a movement of caste identity manipulation took place in response to the law: ruling out alternative demographic interpretations, estimate that in 20 years, 7.5% of the population that had an incentive to do so manipulated its caste identity. Using a novel data set on land ownership by caste from 1911 to 1931, I then use an accounting exercise to estimate the amount of land misallocation caused by this manipulation between 3.9% and 8.2% of the total land distributed by the government.

Suggested Citation

  • Guilhem Cassan, 2012. "Identity based policies and identity manipulation: evidence from Colonial Punjab," Working Papers 1214, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1214
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 10031035-10.
    2. Athreya, Siva & Somanathan, Rohini, 2008. "Quantifying spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 201-206, February.
    3. Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2013. "Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 731-753.
    4. Athreya, Siva & Somanathan, Rohini, 2008. "Quantifying spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 201-206, February.
    5. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Lore Vandewalle, 2011. "Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India," Working Papers 1117, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:exehis:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:36-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:459-469 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fontaine, Xavier & Yamada, Katsunori, 2014. "Caste Comparisons in India: Evidence From Subjective Well-Being Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 407-419.
    6. Karachiwalla, Naureen, 2013. "A teacher unlike me: Social distance, learning, and intergenerational mobility in developing countries," MPRA Paper 64439, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 May 2015.
    7. Emily Nix & Nancy Qian, 2015. "The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940," NBER Working Papers 20828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Muhammad Haseeb & Kate Vyborny, 2016. "Imposing institutions: Evidence from cash transfer reform in Pakistan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    10. Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Caste Comparisons: Evidence from India," ISER Discussion Paper 0867, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    11. Guilhem Cassan & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India," IHEID Working Papers 18-2017, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    12. Hemanshu Kumar & Rohini Somanathan, 2016. "Affirmative action and long-run changes in group inequality in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 085, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Girard, Victoire, 2018. "Don’t Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action And Everyday Discrimination," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-13.
    14. Alvaredo, Facundo & Bergeron, Augustin & Cassan, Guilhem, 2017. "Income concentration in British India, 1885–1946," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 459-469.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    caste; identity; colonialism; land; public policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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