Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India

Abstract : The caste issue dominates a large part of India's social and political life. Caste shapes one's identity. Furthermore, strong tensions exist between castes. Using subjective well-being data, we assess the role economic comparisons play in this society. We focus on both within and between-castes comparisons. Within-caste comparisons appear to reduce well-being. Comparisons between rival castes are found to decrease well-being three times more. We link these results to two models in which economic comparison triggers the actual caste-based behaviours (castes' political demands, discrimination).
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Submitted on : Monday, August 13, 2012 - 9:21:16 AM
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Xavier Fontaine, Katsunori Yamada. Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India. 2012. ⟨hal-00711212v2⟩

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