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

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  • Aimee Chin
  • Nishith Prakash

Abstract

We examine the impact of political reservation for disadvantaged minority groups on poverty. To address the concern that political reservation is endogenous, we take advantage of the state-time variation in reservation in state legislative assemblies in India generated by national policies that cause reservations to be revised and the time lags with which revised reservations are implemented. Using data on sixteen major Indian states for the period 1960-2000, 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

  • Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2010. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 16509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16509
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    More about this item

    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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