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Intergenerational educational and occupational mobility among scheduled castes in rural Bihar

Sandhya R. Mahapatro () and Renu Choudhary ()
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Sandhya R. Mahapatro: A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies
Renu Choudhary: A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies

Journal of Social and Economic Development, 2022, vol. 24, issue 1, No 4, 65-84

Abstract: Abstract The socio-economic transition underway as part of India’s development process has brought about convergence between social groups. However, intra-caste heterogeneities in accessing developmental opportunities may persist in the backdrop of widening economic inequality, specifically among the marginalised groups. This calls for an exploration of intergenerational mobility that has not been investigated adequately due to paucity of panel data. Contrary to studies that have treated Scheduled Castes (SCs) as a homogenous entity, this paper made an attempt to provide new evidence on intergenerational mobility among SCs through a primary survey conducted in rural Bihar. Education and occupation, two indicators of socio-economic status, were used as measures of intergenerational mobility. Transition matrices, correlation, and multivariate analysis were used to understand the pattern and correlates of mobility. The results of the transitional matrix show that children of illiterate parents are likely to remain illiterate or to attain, at best, primary education and that occupational diversification occurs mainly from agricultural to non-agricultural labour. The regression findings confirm that parental characteristics, feeling of alienation and state interventions play a critical role in educational and occupational changes. The evidence on intergenerational correlation, characterised by a gradual, incremental change at the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder, reflects the persistence of socio-economic inequality. Though state interventions have been effective in promoting upward mobility, social discrimination still acts as a barrier to it. Therefore, it is important to direct policy attention to effective implementation of welfare programmes, prioritising the least advantaged among the SCs. A blanket approach to policy-making will not work as targeted measures are required for the least advantaged SCs.

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; Scheduled caste; Education; Occupation; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A14 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s40847-021-00174-w

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