ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Is Positive Discrimination a Good Way to Aid Disadvantaged Ethnic Communities?

This paper discusses whether or not policies of positive discrimination, such as reservations, should be deployed in order to reduce the social and economic marginalisation of disadvantaged racial, caste or other ethnic communities. PD policies giving preferences to members of such disadvantaged communities are likely to have significant negative as well as positive consequences. Are there alternative policies - such as class-based preferences - that could deliver similar benefits without significant costs? After reviewing the diversity of ways in which a race-, caste- or ethnicity-based PD policy can be structured, it concludes that the case for deploying such PD policies is strong if the policies are carefully designed to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs.

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