Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality: Evidence from India

39 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta; IZA; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill; Population Studies Center; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Smriti Sharma

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India

Saurabh Singhal

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER)

Abstract

Hierarchies in social identities have been found to be integrally related to divergences in economic status. In India, caste is one such significant social identity where continued discriminatory practices towards the lower castes have resulted in poor outcomes for them. While there is considerable work on such divergence on many economic outcomes along caste lines, there is no work on behavioral preferences and personality traits that can also be adversely affected by such identity hierarchies, and that are important determinants of educational attainments and labor market performances. We combine rich data from incentivized tasks and surveys conducted among a large sample of university students in a Seemingly Unrelated Regression framework and find that the historically marginalized Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCSTs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) fare worse than the upper castes along several dimensions of economic behavior such as competitiveness and confidence and personality traits such as grit, locus of control, and conscientiousness. Further, we find that parental investments only have limited compensatory effects on these gaps. This suggests a need for redesigning the structure of affirmative action policies in India as well as targeting interventions with an aim to improving soft skills among the disadvantaged.

Keywords: behavioral preferences, personality, caste, experiments, India

JEL Classification: I23, C9, C18, J24, O15

Suggested Citation

Dasgupta, Utteeyo and Mani, Subha and Sharma, Smriti and Singhal, Saurabh, Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality: Evidence from India. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3660261 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3660261

Utteeyo Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Utteeyo Dasgupta ( email )

113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/utteeyodasgupta/home

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill ( email )

United States

Population Studies Center ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
School of Arts and Sciences
Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania 19104-6298
United States

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

Smriti Sharma

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India ( email )

Department of Accountancy & Law
Faculty of Commerce
Agra, UT Uttar Pradesh 282110
India

Saurabh Singhal

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.wider.unu.edu/aboutus/people/resident-researchers/en_GB/Saurabh-Singhal/

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