[CSH Workshop #ONLINE] Inequality of earning opportunity in Indian society (T. Kundu)

[CSH Workshop #ONLINE] Inequality of earning opportunity in Indian society (T. Kundu)

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The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Workshop (Hybrid)


Dr. Tista KUNDU

(Post-Doctoral Fellow, CSH)

Inequality of earning opportunity in Indian society

Discussant: Dr. Himanshu (Professor at JNU, affiliated researcher in CSH)

The session will be online via Zoom on 18th April 2022, 05:00 pm onwards:


To get priority access in case of large affluence, kindly register to:

Abstract: Recent debates on distributive justice have prioritized “inequality of opportunity” rather than total outcome inequality, to disentangle the ethically unfair aspect of inequality that exclusively results from the uncontrollable circumstance factors of a person. Using the latest couple of rounds of the Periodic Labor Force Survey, we estimate inequality of earning opportunities in the Indian labor market. Considering caste, gender, region and parental backgrounds as our circumstances, we find 30% of earning inequality of adult Indian workers during 2017-2019, can be attributed to the differences in the above-mentioned factors, all of which are beyond subjective control. Most importantly, we find earning opportunities of the self-employed workers are worse than that of the regular-salaried employees. A data-driven approach of regression tree further reveals father’s education as the most important source of unfair earning opportunities for most of the workers, except the daily casual laborers for whom it is gender that seems to be largely responsible for the associated earning discrimination. Besides even at the end of two decades of the 21st century, the upper-caste premium is visible in the Indian labor market and the caste hierarchy appears in interaction with other disadvantages, particularly with the educational qualification of the parent.

Tista Kundu, is a Post-Doctoral fellow in Economics at CSH. Her research focuses on inequality issues through the lens of distributive justice, particularly in the context of developing countries and emerging economies like India. Her current work at CSH aims at appraising inequality of opportunity and the efficacy of certain policies to equalize opportunity in a hierarchical social set-up, both in India & Europe. One particular interest in the Indian context, is to further analyse opportunity equalization among various social groups (castes), as well as the potency of caste-based affirmative action policies in India.

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