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Social Identity and Perceived Income Adequacy

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  • Goel, Deepti
  • Deshpande, Ashwini

Abstract

Economists are increasingly interested in subjective well-being, but the economic literature on perceptions of income adequacy, which is one of the factors that shapes subjective well-being, is small. Our paper fills this lacuna in the literature. We utilize nationally representative data on perceptions of amounts considered as remunerative earnings from self-employment in India, and examine how these are shaped by social identity, namely, caste. We also investigate if institutional change such as the introduction of an employment guarantee scheme alters these perceptions. Finally, we examine the relationship between caste identity and actual earnings. We find that caste identity does shape both perceptions of income adequacy as well as actual earnings: lower-ranked groups perceive lower amounts as being remunerative, and also earn lower amounts. Further, the employment guarantee scheme alters self-perceptions differentially for different caste groups, but in more nuanced ways than our ex-ante beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • Goel, Deepti & Deshpande, Ashwini, 2018. "Social Identity and Perceived Income Adequacy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 232, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klonner, Stefan & Oldiges , Christian, 2014. "Safety Net for India's Poor or Waste of Public Funds? Poverty and Welfare in the Wake of the World's Largest Job Guarantee Program," Working Papers 0564, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    2. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
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    4. Gupta, Bhanu & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2016. "Local funds and political competition: Evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 14-30.
    5. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of Social Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 233-263, April.
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    8. Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, 2012. "The political economy of implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-015-12, GDI, The University of Manchester.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Caste; Perceptions; Income Adequacy; Discrimination; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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