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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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Abstract:

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.

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r.i.c.e. is a non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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