India’s growth story is leaving out its Muslim minority
By Maria Thomas
India may have lifted at least 170 million people out of poverty since 1990, but new research suggests overall upward mobility has barely changed since the 1950s.
Instead, Indian men born to fathers in the bottom of the socioeconomic distribution are just as likely to stay in the bottom today as they were in the 1950s, according to a working paper (pdf) by Sam Asher, Paul Novosad, and Charlie Rafkin from the World Bank, Dartmouth College, and MIT, respectively. This, despite the fact that India’s economy surged in size over the study period, which was based on data from 2012.
The researchers say this is the result of a counterbalance between a substantial rise in upward mobility for the historically-marginalised scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), who have access to reserved seats in educational institutions and jobs, and a substantial decline for Muslims. The latter have become the least upwardly mobile group in India.