ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Paul AttewellSubscribe to Paul Attewell

Caste Discrimination in the Indian Urban Labour Market: Evidence from the National Sample Survey

This paper uses National Sample Survey data to examine the wage gap between higher castes and the scheduled castes/tribes in the regular salaried urban labour market. The main conclusions we draw are (a) discrimination causes 15 per cent lower wages for SC/STs as compared to equally qualified others; (b) SC/ST workers are discriminated against both in the public and private sectors, but the discrimination effect is much larger in the private sector; (c) discrimination accounts for a large part of the gross earnings difference between the two social groups in the regular salaried urban labour market, with occupational discrimination - unequal access to jobs - being considerably more important than wage discrimination - unequal pay in the same job; and (d) the endowment difference is larger than the discrimination component.

The Legacy of Social Exclusion

This article examines the prevalence of discrimination in the job application process of private sector enterprises in India. The study is based on a field experiment where authors replied to job advertisements in major English dailies sending three applications to each call - as an upper caste Hindu applicant, as a dalit and as a Muslim. Using statistical analysis they assess the data and find that discriminatory processes operate even at the first stage of the application process.
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