The Review of Black Political Economy

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 165–175 | Cite as

Caste and Religion-Based Wage Discrimination in the Indian Private Sector: Evidence from the Indian Human Development Survey

  • Nikolaus Axmann
  • Kendal Swanson
  • Victor Cuspinera Contreras


Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey, we examine evidence of caste and religion-based discrimination in the Indian private and public sector. Both Dalits and Adivasis show significant results of discrimination in the private sector, and benefit disproportionately from working in the public sector. This is strong evidence that at least some of the affirmative action policies in the public sector are proving effective. The policy implications are relevant: should similar affirmative action policies be implemented in the private sector? Further, this research suggests a path for further research to understand why protected castes do not benefit from affirmative action programs to the same extent as Dalits and Adivasis.


Caste-based discrimination Religion-based discrimination Indian Human Development Survey Affirmative action Public sector affirmative action 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaus Axmann
    • 1
  • Kendal Swanson
    • 1
  • Victor Cuspinera Contreras
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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