Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/62558
Authors: 
Duleep, Harriet
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6612
Abstract: 
This paper proposes that India's caste system and involuntary labor were joint responses by a nonworking landowning class to a low labor/land ratio in which the rules of the caste system supported the institution of involuntary labor. The hypothesis is tested in two ways: longitudinally, with data from ancient religious texts, and cross-sectionally, with twentieth-century statistics on regional population/land ratios linked to anthropological measures of caste-system rigidity. Both the longitudinal and cross-sectional evidence suggest that the labor/land ratio affected the caste system's development, persistence, and rigidity over time and across regions of India.
Subjects: 
labor-to-land ratio
population
involuntary labor
immobility
value of life
marginal product of labor
market wage
JEL: 
J47
J1
J30
N3
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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