Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Trust thy Neighbour?: Evidence from Partition of India


Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi)

On Thursday, 20 August 2020 at 3:05 P.M.


This paper investigates the long run effect of partition of India (especially that on the eastern border of India) on inter-personal trust. It sources rich historical data from the 1951 census of India to calculate the proportion of district population who are “displaced”. This data is merged to a rich contemporary household survey (SAGE:2007) that measures indicators of inter-personal trust in six states of India. Results suggest that individuals who live in districts where the proportion of displaced population was high, have less inter-personal trust. These results survive after accounting for a host of geographical, historical and contemporaneous controls at the district as well as household level. This effect is especially seen in the rural part of the sample, in particular, for poorer villages. This lack of inter-personal trust is in-turn correlated to key economic outcomes of the household.

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