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Understanding Economic Inequality Through the Lens of Caste
journal contributionposted on 2022-09-29, 23:58 authored by H Bapuji, S Chrispal
Research on economic inequality has largely focused on understanding the relationship between organizations and inequality but has paid limited attention to the role of institutions in the creation and maintenance of inequality. In this article, we use insights from the caste system—an institution that perpetuates socio-economic inequalities and limits human functions—to elaborate on three elements of economic inequality: uneven dispersions in resource endowments, uneven access to productive resources and opportunities, and uneven rewards to resource contributions. We argue that economic inequalities persist because these three different elements of inequality feed from and reinforce each other. Our study underscores the potential of the caste lens to inform research on economic inequality as well as organizational theory and practice.