Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Effectiveness of Jobs Reservation: Caste, Religion, and Economic Status in India

Borooah, Vani and Dubey, Amaresh and Iyer, Sriya (2007): The Effectiveness of Jobs Reservation: Caste, Religion, and Economic Status in India. Published in: Development & Change , Vol. 38, No. 3 (2007): pp. 423-455.


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This article investigates the effect of jobs reservation on improving the economic opportunities of persons belonging to India’s Scheduled Castes (SC)and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Using employment data from the 55th NSS round, the authors estimate the probabilities of different social groups in India being in one of three categories of economic status: own account workers; regular salaried or wage workers; casual wage labourers. Theseprobabilities are then used to decompose the difference between a group X and forward caste Hindus in the proportions of their members in regular salaried or wage employment. This decomposition allows us to distinguish between two forms of difference between group X and forward caste Hindus: ‘attribute’ differences and ‘coefficient’ differences. The authors measure the effects of positive discriminationin raising the proportions of ST/SC persons in regular salaried employment, and the discriminatory bias against Muslims who do not benefit from such policies. They conclude that the boost provided by jobs reservation policies was around 5 percentage points. They also conclude that an alternative and more effective way of raising the proportion of men from the SC/ST groups in regular salaried or wageemployment would be to improve theiremployment-related attributes.

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