The Impact of Reservation Policy on Education in India: An Evaluation of Karnataka's Gram Panchayat Presidency Reservation and Children's Education Attainment for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Households
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Reservation policy in local governments – Gram Panchayats – in India is one of three key means of affirmative action, ensuring lower caste groups are represented fairly in political institutions. Researchers have found local political reservations for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) populations strongly associated with more SC- and ST-friendly policies, increases in welfare spending and investment in infrastructure, as well as lower household poverty levels. This paper explores one potential indirect benefit of reservations, namely improvements in education attainment. The theory of role model effects is applied to the context of political reservations - greater presence of SC and ST presidents in Gram Panchayats could act as a positive role model of stereotype-defying success for SC and ST children, incentivizing more investment in education attainment. The paper tests the relationship between reservation rates and average completed years of schooling in a dose-response regression model at the sub-district level, using a sample of 13,408 SC children and 6,066 ST children ages 5 to 18 in Karnataka. The results of the analysis suggest that more SC and ST presidents in Gram Panchayats are associated with increases in education attainment among SC and ST children. Further research would be valuable to strengthen these findings and expand the literature on indirect benefits of reservations.
DepartmentThe Sanford School of Public Policy
CitationCho, Emily EunYoung (2014). The Impact of Reservation Policy on Education in India: An Evaluation of Karnataka's Gram Panchayat Presidency Reservation and Children's Education Attainment for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Households. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/8433.
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Rights for Collection: Sanford School Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program Master’s Projects