Trust Thy Neighbour?: Evidence from Partition in India



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About the Event

What long run factors affect generalized trust? A growing economics literature suggests trust is positively correlated with economic outcomes. Although individual factors influence trust, broader cultural factors play a bigger role in explaining the variation in trust across communities and societies. In this paper, we study if the historical shock of the Indian Partition affects generalized trust in Indian districts today. We measure the Partition shock as the 1951 proportion of migrants in an Indian district. India was partitioned in 1947 into India and Pakistan (East and West Pakistan). At this time, many Hindus and Sikhs migrated from Pakistan to India while Muslims went in the other direction. Using data from the World Health Organization Survey on the Aged and Elderly, we find strong evidence that the generalized trust is lower in districts that received more Partition migrants. These effects are not driven by more recent migrations, or the contemporary share of Muslims, Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. Rather, these negative effects are larger in places with poor endowments such as soil fertility.         

The paper is co-authored with Latika Chaudhary (Naval Postgraduate School, USA) and Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, India) .   

About the Speaker

Prasad Sankar Bhattacharya is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Deakin University, Australia. His current research focuses on economic development and political economy topics including partition of India, domestic conflict, land reform and inequality.

Prasad’s research has been published in a number of field and general interest journals like the Journal of Development Economics, European Economic Review, Journal of Macroeconomics, Public Choice, and Southern Economic Journal. Prasad is a Research Associate at the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA), Australian National University and an Affiliate in the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability at Monash University


This webinar is part of a series of Zoom events that explores issues in growth and development in India. The series' academic committee consists of Takashi Kurosaki (Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study), Pushkar Maitra (Monash University and Sujata Visaria (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) .    

To Attend the Event

The event will take place on 28 July 2020 Tuesday at 11:30 am HKT == 1:30 pm AEST == 12:30 pm JST. (See corresponding times for different times zones).

The event will be held online via Zoom. Please sign up here as part of our security measures, and the meeting details will be sent to you by email about one day in advance of the event.  Please register at least one day in advance of the event.  Please also note that the meeting room will be locked at around 11:50.   

Also see here for advice from the university's IT office on Zoom best practices for attendees.  

House Rules

  • We would like the webinar to be interactive. Please join with both audio and video whenever possible.
  • It is advised to mute yourself when you are not speaking. This prevents any distractions due to background noise.
  • Please rename yourself to your real name when entering the Zoom meeting.  
  • The chat function will be on, but the speaker may not see your chat message. Please consider raising your hand (blue hand button) or unmuting yourself to ask a question.
  • This talk will be live broadcast on the Institute's Facebook Page and will also be recorded for internal use. 

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