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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 3 No. 1 (January 2011)

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Caste as an Impediment to Trade

Article Citation

Anderson, Siwan. 2011. "Caste as an Impediment to Trade." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(1): 239-63.

DOI: 10.1257/app.3.1.239

Abstract

We compare outcomes across two types of villages in rural India. Villages vary by which caste is dominant (owns the majority of land): either a low or high caste. The key finding is that income is substantially higher for low-caste households residing in villages dominated by a low caste. This seems to be due to a trade breakdown in irrigation water across caste groups. All else equal, lower caste water buyers have agricultural yields which are 45 percent higher if they reside in a village where water sellers are of the same caste compared to one where they are not. (JEL O12, O13, O17, O18, Q15, R23, Z13)

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Authors

Anderson, Siwan (U British Columbia and CIFAR, Toronto)

JEL Classifications

O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O13: Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
O18: Economic Development: Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses; Transportation
Q15: Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
R23: Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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