Jati Inequality in Rural Bihar

24 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Shareen Joshi

Shareen Joshi

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS)

Nishtha Kochhar

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: July 10, 2018

Abstract

Caste is a persistent driver of inequality in India, and it is generally analyzed with government-defined broad categories, such as Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. In everyday life, however, caste is lived and experienced as jati, which is a local system of stratification. Little is known about economic inequality at the jati level. This paper uses data from poor rural districts in Bihar to explore expenditure inequality at the jati level. Inequality decompositions show much more variation between jatis than between broad caste categories. The analysis finds that even within generally disadvantaged Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, some jatis are significantly worse off than others. Consistent with previous work, the paper also finds that inequality is largely driven by inequality within jatis. This finding has implications for the implementation of large-scale poverty alleviation programs: the benefits of programs intended for disadvantaged castes are concentrated among specific jatis.

Keywords: Inequality, Labor Markets, Gender and Development, Educational Sciences, Poverty Reduction Strategies

Suggested Citation

Joshi, Shareen and Kochhar, Nishtha and Rao, Vijayendra, Jati Inequality in Rural Bihar (July 10, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8512. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238352

Shareen Joshi (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/sj244/

Nishtha Kochhar

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8034 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://vijayendrarao.org

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