NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India

Aimee Chin, Nishith Prakash

NBER Working Paper No. 16509
Issued in October 2010
NBER Program(s):      PE   POL

We examine the impact of political reservation for disadvantaged minority groups on poverty. To address the concern that political reservation is endogenous, we take advantage of the state-time variation in reservation in state legislative assemblies in India generated by national policies that cause reservations to be revised and the time lags with which revised reservations are implemented. Using data on sixteen major Indian states for the period 1960-2000, we find that increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes significantly reduces poverty while increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes has no impact on poverty. Political reservation for Scheduled Tribes has a greater effect on rural poverty than urban poverty, and appears to benefit people near the poverty line as well as those far below it.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16509

Published: Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "The redistributive effects of political reservation for minorities: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 265-277, November.

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