Is Education the Panacea for Economic Deprivation of Muslims? Evidence from Wage Earners in India, 1987-2004

27 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2007

See all articles by Sumon K. Bhaumik

Sumon K. Bhaumik

Aston University - Aston Business School; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Stephen M. Ross School of Business, William Davidson Institute

Manisha Chakrabarty

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

Few researchers have examined the nature and determinants of earnings differentials among religious groups, and none has been undertaken in the context of conflict-prone multi-religious societies like the one in India. We address this lacuna in the literature by examining the differences in the average (log) earnings of Hindu and Muslim wage earners in India, during the 1987-2004 period. Our results indicate that education differences between Hindu and Muslim wage earners, especially differences in the proportion of wage earners with tertiary education, are largely responsible for the differences in the average (log) earnings of the two religious groups across the years. By contrast, differences in the returns to education do not explain the aforementioned difference in average (log) earnings. Citing other evidence about persistence of educational achievements across generations, however, we argue that attempts to narrow this gap using quotas for Muslim households at educational institutions might be counterproductive from the point of view of conflict avoidance.

Keywords: earnings gap, education, decomposition, religion

JEL Classification: J31, J15, I28

Suggested Citation

Bhaumik, Sumon K. and Chakrabarty, Manisha, Is Education the Panacea for Economic Deprivation of Muslims? Evidence from Wage Earners in India, 1987-2004 (January 2007). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 858. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=969048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.969048

Sumon K. Bhaumik (Contact Author)

Aston University - Aston Business School ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, West Midlands B47ET
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Stephen M. Ross School of Business, William Davidson Institute

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Manisha Chakrabarty

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta ( email )

Joka
D.H Road
Kolkata, West Bengal 700104
India

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