Caste as an impediment to trade

Type Journal Article - American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Title Caste as an impediment to trade
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 239-6
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.

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