Northwestern Events Calendar


Economics Development Lunch

When: Wednesday, May 5, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Economics   847.491.8200

Group: Department of Economics: Development Economics Lunch Seminar

Category: Academic


Eduardo Campillo Betancourt (Northwestern University): "Economic Mobility and Religious Conversions" 

Abstract: Historically, India’s caste system has imposed restrictions, often violently enforced, on the occupations that people can have depending on their social status. These boundaries can hinder economic mobility, particularly for lower-caste people, and create frictions as workers attempt to reallocate across occupations. As the value of occupations outside those ascribed by their social standing grows, the incentive for people to abandon their caste status increases as well. In my analysis, I show that when low-to-middle-status occupations become more profitable, the number of low-caste converts away from Hinduism grows. Contrastingly, I find no such effect when middle-to-high-status occupations become increasingly attractive. This pattern of results supports a framework in which low-caste people are induced to convert away from Hinduism in order to take advantage of higher-paying occupations that are accessible to them in terms of social status and/or human capital.




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