Castes and Labor Mobility
How have the poorest sections of society in India responded to the rapid changes in the Indian economy over the past 30 years? We examine this question by contrasting the fortunes of the historically disadvantaged scheduled castes and tribes (SC/ST) in India with the rest of the workforce in terms of their education attainment, occupation choices and wages. We study the period 1983-2005 using household survey data from successive rounds of the National Sample Survey. Our key findings are that education attainment rates and wages have been converging across the two groups while SC/STs have also been switching occupations at increasing rates during this period. Moreover, inter-generational education and income mobility rates of SC/STs have converged to non-SC/ST levels. Clearly, the last twenty years of major structural changes in India have seen a sharp improvement in the relative economic fortunes of these historically disadvantaged social groups. In fact, the median wages of SC/STs relative to non-SC/STs in India have surpassed the median wages of blacks relative to whites in the USA.
|Date of creation:||02 Sep 2010|
|Date of revision:||22 Oct 2010|
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