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Castes and Labor Mobility

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  • Hnatkovska, Viktoria
  • Lahiri, Amartya
  • Paul, Sourabh Bikash

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Lahiri, Amartya & Paul, Sourabh Bikash, 2010. "Castes and Labor Mobility," Economics working papers viktoria_hnatkovska-2010-, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Oct 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:viktoria_hnatkovska-2010-25
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    File URL: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/vhnatkovska/Research/castes.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ito, Takahiro, 2009. "Caste discrimination and transaction costs in the labor market: Evidence from rural North India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 292-300, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    2. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2013. "How Backward are the Other Backward Classes? Changing Contours of Caste Disadvantage in India," Working Papers id:5422, eSocialSciences.
    3. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2016. "The Changing Contours of Inter group Disparities and the Role of Preferential Policies in a Globalizing World: Evidence from India," Working Papers id:11519, eSocialSciences.
    4. Abraham, Vinoj, 2012. "Wages and earnings of marginalized social and religious groups in India: Data sources, scope, limitations and suggestions," MPRA Paper 37799, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Azam, Mehtabul, 2016. "Household Income Mobility in India: 1993-2011," IZA Discussion Papers 10308, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    7. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Cassan, Guilhem & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2014. "Religion, politician identity and development outcomes: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 4-17.
    8. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0011-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2017. "Is Caste Destiny? Occupational Diversification among Dalits in Rural India," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(2), pages 476-492, April.
    10. Ashwini Deshpande & Rajesh Ramachandran, 2016. "The Changing Contours of Intergroup Disparities and the Role of Preferential Policies in a Globalizing World- Evidence from India," Working papers 267, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:154-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Viktoria Hnatkovska & Amartya Lahiri, 2011. "The Post-Reform Narrowing of Inequality Across Castes: Evidence from the States," Working Papers 1117, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Jan 2011.
    13. Subha Mani & Saurabh Singhal & Smriti Sharma & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2016. "Caste differences in behaviour and personality Evidence from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 060, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2014. "Under the Thumb of History? Political Institutions and the Scope for Action," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 951-971, August.
    15. Shantanu Khanna, 2012. "Gender wage discrimination in India-- Glass ceiling or sticky floor?," Working papers 214, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    16. Bidner, Chris & Eswaran, Mukesh, 2015. "A gender-based theory of the origin of the caste system of India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 142-158.
    17. Guha, Brishti & Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2017. "Affirmative Action in the Presence of a Creamy Layer: Identity or Class Based?," MPRA Paper 78686, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:163-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Megha Mukim & Arvind Panagariya, 2011. "Growth, Openness and the Socially Disadvantaged," Working Papers 1113, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Jun 2011.
    20. Kelly, Orla & Krishna, Aditi & Bhabha, Jacqueline, 2016. "Private schooling and gender justice: An empirical snapshot from Rajasthan, India's largest state," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 175-187.
    21. Rajeev Dehejia & Arvind Panagariya, 2011. "Entrepreneurship in Services and Socially Disadvantaged in India," Working Papers 1114, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Oct 2011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; wage gaps; castes;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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