Identity, Perceptions and Institutions: Caste Differences in Earnings from Self-Employment in India

33 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2016

See all articles by Deepti Goel

Deepti Goel

School of Arts and Sciences, Azim Premji University

Ashwini Deshpande

Delhi School of Economics - Department of Economics

Abstract

Using data from two rounds of the Employment-Unemployment Survey of the National Sample Survey for 2004-5 and 2009-10, we investigate the relationship between social identity, specifically caste identity in India, and perceptions of self-worth as measured by the amounts that individuals consider as remunerative earnings from self-employment. We also investigate if institutional change (e.g. a policy intervention such as an employment guarantee program, or change in the ruling party in power) mitigates this relationship. Finally, we examine the relationship between caste identity and actual earnings, and how institutional change can influence it. Our main finding is that caste identity in contemporary India does shape perceptions of self-worth. Among the fully self-employed, we find that controlling for other characteristics, lower-ranked groups earn lower amounts and perceive lower amounts as being remunerative. Further, institutional factors alter self-perceptions differentially for different caste groups, but in more nuanced ways than our ex-ante beliefs.

Keywords: caste discrimination, remunerative earnings, political economy

JEL Classification: J15, O15, P16

Suggested Citation

Goel, Deepti and Deshpande, Ashwini, Identity, Perceptions and Institutions: Caste Differences in Earnings from Self-Employment in India. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10198, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2840142

Deepti Goel (Contact Author)

School of Arts and Sciences, Azim Premji University

Sarjapur
Undergraduate Campus
Bangalore, 562125
India

Ashwini Deshpande

Delhi School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

Delhi-110007
India

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
303
rank
452,093
PlumX Metrics