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3000 Years of Discrimination and Counting: How Caste Still Matters in the Indian Credit Sector

3000 Years of Discrimination and Counting: How Caste Still Matters in the Indian Credit Sector

Sangwan, Navjot (2020) 3000 Years of Discrimination and Counting: How Caste Still Matters in the Indian Credit Sector. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The caste system has dominated the social, political and economic lives of Indian people for over three thousand years. Since independence, the Indian government has introduced a flood of quotas, schemes and affirmative action to tackle caste discrimination. Can seventy years of government policy reverse three thousand years of oppression? Taking a close look at the country's credit system reveals that a new, more subtle, and less overt form of discrimination appears to be emerging, and becoming more widespread. This paper examines whether caste-based differences influence the amount of credit sanctioned to borrowers in India utilising data from the India Human Development Survey collected in 2005 and 2011-12. Using the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition method, along with the Heckman procedure and the instrumental variable approach to correct for selection and simultaneity bias, I find substantial credit differentials between the general caste and other lower castes. I also show the evidence of caste discrimination against the lower castes. The results of this research have been complemented by qualitative data gathered from interviewing lower caste borrowers in North India to understand the nature of discrimination and obstacles faced by them in the credit sector.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: caste discrimination, credit, blinder-oaxaca decomposition, quantile decomposition, Asia, India
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2021 10:29
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30306

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