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Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India

  • Elizabeth Kaletski

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Nishith Prakash

    (University of Connecticut)

This paper examines the impact of state level political reservation for two minority groups- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes-on child labor in India. We estimate the effect of political reservation on child labor by exploiting the state variation in the share of seats reserved for the two groups in state legislative assemblies mandated by the Constitution of India. Using data from state and household level surveys on fifteen major Indian states, we find that at the household level, Schedule Tribe reservation decreases the incidence of child labor, while Scheduled Caste reservation increases the total number of children working. Our results survive a variety of robustness checks and potential explanations for the differential impact of SC and ST political reservation are also explored, including geographic isolation, caste fragmentation, support for the Congress Party, and decentralization of power.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2014-12.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-12
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Elizabeth Kaletski & Nishith Prakash, 2014. "Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India," Working papers 2014-19, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
  3. Alan Barreca, 2009. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Working Papers 0905, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani & Prachi Mishra & Petia Topalova, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-092, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2011.
  5. 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.
  6. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2008. "Affirmative Action in Education: Evidence From Engineering College Admissions in India," NBER Working Papers 13926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  9. Esther Duflo, 2005. "Why Political Reservations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 668-678, 04/05.
  10. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
  11. Nandini Krishnan, 2007. "Political Reservations and Rural Public Good Provision in India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-175, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  12. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar.
  13. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  15. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2013. "The Impact of Malaria Eradication on Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 607 - 631.
  16. Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
  17. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
  18. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-45, April.
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