Does returns to farming depend on Caste? New evidence from India
This paper analyses the relationship between net farm income per unit of land cultivated and caste divisions in India using a micro unit recorded and nationally representative survey conducted in 2004-05. Findings suggest that the groups that are generally considered disadvantaged (Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes) have, after controlling for other factors, substantially lower farm returns compared to the advantaged (Others) castes, whereas the ‘Other Backward Castes’ occupy position in between. Decomposition of overall net farm income inequality using mean-log deviation indicates that caste based inequality forms a substantial part of it. Results call for policies for neutralizing the impact of caste on agricultural returns in addition to the general policy of land redistribution.
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