Identity-based policies and identity manipulation: Evidence from colonial Punjab

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I study identity-marker based policies and demonstrate the existence of identity manipulation. I analyze the impact of the Punjab Alienation of Land Act (1901), a caste-based legislation, on identity manipulation. Using data from the colonial census, I show that a movement of identity manipulation took place in response to the law. I estimate that in 20 years, 7.5 percent of the population that had an incentive to do so manipulated its identity. I then use an accounting exercise to estimate that the amount of mistargeting caused by this manipulation is between 3.9 percent and 8.2 percent of the land distributed.

langue originaleAnglais
Pages (de - à)103-131
Nombre de pages29
journalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Numéro de publication4
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - 2015

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