Caste Connections and Government Transfers: The Mahadalits of Bihar

Published By: Madras Sschool of Economics, MSE on eSS | Published Date: November , 2016

The category of Scheduled Castes, created for the purpose of affirmative action in India, is large, heterogeneous and unequal. In 2007, the state of Bihar classified the most disadvantaged among this group as ‘Mahadalits,’ to better target government transfers to them. A ‘Vikas Mitra’ (‘development friend’) was recruited from the most populous Mahadalit caste in each panchayat and had the task of connecting households to government officials administering social welfare programmes. We use household survey data from 48 panchayats across four districts of Bihar to ask whether households that belonged to the same caste as the Vikas Mitra had a significantly higher chance of getting programme benefits, as compared to Mahadalit households of other castes. [MSE Working paper No. 270].

Author(s): Hemanshu Kumar, Rohini Somanathan | Posted on: Feb 16, 2017 | Views() | Download (138)

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