Affirmative Action, Political Representation and Caste Disadvantage: mapping changes in post-Mandal India

Research Seminars
Academic Areas Economics and Public Policy
Ashwini Deshpande, Professor , Delhi School of Economics
March 31, 2015 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM | Tuesday
AC 2 Mini Lecture Theatre, Hyderabad, India
Open to Public
Abstract: This paper focuses on the evolution of key educational and occupational indicators for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in relation to two broad groups – the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (SCs and STs) and “Others”(everyone else). We examine these indicators both before and after the early 1990s, the years that affirmative action was extended to OBCs and when several state assemblies underwent a definitive shift in the caste composition of their legislators.  We find that extension of affirmative action to OBCs increased the percentage of OBCs with public sector jobs and secondary education by 2.6 and 4 percentage points respectively. We then examine whether the “silent revolution”, viz., increased representation of OBCs in state assemblies post-1991, had an impact on OBC outcomes; specifically, did it change the probability of being a graduate or obtaining white-collar jobs. We examine different regional patterns of representation and find that increased political representation has not yet translated into improved outcomes for OBCs.