Minority Representation and Protection from Targeted Violence: Evidence from Low-Caste Political Parties in India

65 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2016 Last revised: 25 Jul 2019

See all articles by Abhay Aneja

Abhay Aneja

Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

S.K. Ritadhi

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics; Ashoka University

Date Written: June 10, 2019

Abstract

This paper examines whether improving the political voice of historically-marginalized minority groups can reduce human and civil rights abuse. To answer this question, we examine the impact of political parties dedicated to representing India's Scheduled Castes and Tribes (SC/STs) on caste-based violence. We address the endogenous selection of minority-favored politicians using state-level variation in aggregations of close election outcomes. We find that a 10 percentage-point increase in the fraction of SC/ST politicians reduces the incidence of SC/ST-targeted violence by three percentage points. Improved attitudes of SC/ST citizens toward state institutions suggest that our results are not the product of negative reporting bias. Further analysis suggests that the crime reductions are consistent with deterrence induced by politicians influencing the operation of the law enforcement bureaucracy in favor of SC/ST citizens.

Keywords: Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, Immigrants, Political Processes, Criminal Law

JEL Classification: J15, D72, K14

Suggested Citation

Aneja, Abhay and Ritadhi, S.K. and Ritadhi, S.K., Minority Representation and Protection from Targeted Violence: Evidence from Low-Caste Political Parties in India (June 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816668

Abhay Aneja (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

S.K. Ritadhi

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Ashoka University ( email )

Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, 131028
India

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ashoka.edu.in/welcome/faculty#!/sk-ritadhi-1691

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