13/02/08

'economics of caste'

on an impulse, i followed prof. gadde swarup's cue and googled 'economics of caste'. this is what i found:
This paper compares outcomes across two types of villages in a poor region of rural India. The two types of villages systematically vary by which cates is dominant, i.e., the caste group which owns the majority of land. The dominant caste is either from an upper caste or a lower backward caste. The key finding is that income is substantially higher for low caste households residing in villages dominated by a backward caste. This difference in income can be explained by better access to private groundwater markets in backward caste dominated villages. The empirical results suggest that upper caste households do not easily trade water with lower caste households. That trade breaks down across caste groups is striking: the potential gains from trade are extremely high. All else equal, lower caste water buyers have agricultural yields which are 45% higher if they reside in a village where water sellers are of the same caste compared to when they are not. This finding points to an example of when culture (the caste system) directly affects the efficiency of markets. The study provides concrete empirical evidence of when social identity impacts very simple trading relationships.
i haven't read siwan anderson's paper fully as yet, but the abstract does raise questions about several widely accepted beliefs, don't you agree? like this popular myth propagated by a dominant section of indian academia:
.....it was OBCs, and not Brahmins or Baniyas, who routinely brutalised rural Dalits.

4 comments:

gaddeswarup said...

I browsed that paper and am now looking atThorat-Newman paper: http://epw.org.in/uploads/articles/11132.pdf

gaddeswarup said...

See also:
http://casi.ssc.upenn.edu/india/iit_Witsoe.html
and his 2006 paper at CASI.

refractor said...

it is better to lose two rupees then let the lower castes earn one rupee!

irrational!!!!!!!!
but it happens.

kuffir said...

refractor,

welcome to this blog..and your comment- very succinctly put. thanks.

 
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