The effect of reservations on caste persistence in India
Barker, Michael Dwight.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Reservation policy is an extremely contentious topic in Indian politics. Proponents claim that a policy of positive discrimination is the only way to rectify the past injustices against India's poor. Opponents claim that reservation policy creates perverse incentives that strengthen traditional caste boundaries and encourage backwardness. Despite vocal advocates on both sides of the issue, there is little empirical data on the actual effects of reservation policy. This thesis provides theoretical and quantitative evidence on the unintended consequences of reservation policy. I develop and estimate a model of marriage choice in the presence of reservations to determine the effects of reservations on the persistence of caste identity. I conclude that different effects of reservations encourage both exogamy and endogamy along different dimensions, but the net impact of reservation policy favors exogamy.
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