Economics of Identity

How does a sense of self determine and affect economic outcomes?

This course exposes students to different identity based socio-economic inequalities in India and abroad. The course begins with a discussion of empirical evidence on gender, caste and race-based inequalities, and introduces students to debates on how to measure such inequalities in different contexts. Subsequently, it offers explanations of why and how such inequalities emerge, persist, and evolve. In this part, students engage with different theoretical frameworks, to understand how different schools of thought may arrive at distinct explanations of these inequalities. Finally, the course exposes students to different solutions emerging from these different schools of thought on how to eradicate such inequalities. This involves a detailed discussion on the role of state/​policy makers, markets, and social movements. Throughout the course, students are required to engage with both theoretical concepts and empirical tools so that at the end of the course, they are able to assess identity-based inequalities from a variety of entry points as well as techniques.