Minority Status and Employment Outcomes: Are there Minority Enclaves in India?

Maitreyi B. Das, World Bank Group

Building on previous work, we use data from the newly released 61st Round of the National Sample Survey to understand the employment outcomes of Muslim minorities in India compared to a caste based minority – the dalits. We ask whether minority groups build “enclave labor markets” if they have the requisite wherewithal? We use a loose hierarchy of employment types and argue that among minorities, those with education and networks will be more likely to be self-employed, in order to skirt discrimination in formal jobs. We find that the effect of “entrepreneurial wherewithal” is felt most strongly by dalits who cannot enter self-employment. For Muslims, lack of options in salaried jobs appears to push them to build minority enclaves. Thus, the idea of ethnic enclaves in the Indian context applies to Muslim men. Very few Muslim women are in the labor force, but if employed, they are also in non-farm self-employment.

  See paper

Presented in Session 152: Demography of Islamic Societies and Populations