Essays on inequality and discrimination : caste, religion and gender in India
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This thesis estimates the inequality on the basis of caste and religion, and analyses the socio-economic structural factors in determining sex ratios in India. In the first part of the thesis, the inequality spaces are determined by average household income and access to clean energy sources at the household level. The regression estimates suggest that the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and Muslims are significantly worse off in comparison to the upper caste Hindu households (others) in the sample. However, the summary of the results in the first part is that the Muslim households appear to be either significantly better off or indifferent to the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households. Post regression, Oxaca-Blinder methodology is also employed to measure the proportion of discrimination among the predicted outcomes in the first part of thesis. The results in the second part of the thesis, which distinguishes the discussion of child sex ratios (0-6 age group) from juvenile sex ratios (0-14 age group), show that the cultural factors play a major role in determining the child sex ratios, rather than women’s agency and economic development. However, the regression results of the juvenile sex ratios indicate the positive impact of economic development and women’s agency variables. The separate regression analysis of the tribal population in the second part suggests similarities between the regression results of the tribal population and the total population. However, the important deduction is that the scheduled tribes of India are emulating the culture of gender inequality with the increasing proximity of ‘Hindu population’. Failure of the previous policies and new suggestions are considered.