Caste, Gender, and Occupational Outcomes



In this chapter, Borooah discusses an important concern of public policy in India which is to ensure that all persons, regardless of gender, caste, or religion, are treated fairly in the jobs market. A key aspect of this relates to inter-group differences in the likelihood of attaining different levels of occupational success. The issue here is whether these differences in likelihood are justified by differences in the distribution of employee attributes or whether they are, wholly or in part, due to employer bias. This chapter attempts to answer these questions using unit record data from the Indian Human Development Survey relating to the period 2011–12. Of particular interest to this chapter is that the Survey provides details about the occupations of approximately 62,500 persons by placing them in one or more of 99 occupations; these are aggregated in the chapter into six broad occupational categories. Using these data, the chapter (focusing on men and women between the ages of 21 and 60) employs the methods of multinomial logit to estimate the probabilities of persons being in these occupational categories, after controlling for their gender/caste/religion and their employment-related attributes. The main focus is the issue of differences between men and women, and differences between persons belonging to different social groups, in their likelihood of being in the different employment categories. Data on these men and women were used to decompose the observed difference between the groups, in their average proportions in the different occupations, into an “employer bias” and an “employee attributes” effect.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics & PoliticsUniversity of UlsterBelfastUK

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