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Caste, ‘Cleanliness’ and Cash: Effects of Caste-Based Political Reservations in Rajasthan on a Sanitation Prize

Research, Sanitation1 min read

Authors: Sneha Lamba, Dean Spears

Published in: Journal of Development Studies

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Even compared with neighbouring countries, latrine use is especially uncommon in India. How might caste – historically associated with sanitation inequality – interact with government sanitation policy? Using data from Rajasthan state, we investigate the effect of caste-based reservations for village chairmen elected in 2005 on the likelihood of winning the government’s Clean Village Prize by mid 2012.

This prize is a large cash award for villages in which open defecation has been eliminated; thus it is intended to be a prize for both latrine construction and use. Villages randomly assigned to a Scheduled (low-ranking) Caste chairman are less likely to win the prize.


r.i.c.e. is a nonprofit research organization, dedicated to understanding the lives of poor people, especially young children, in India, and to promoting their well-being.

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