Catherine BROS
Catherine BROS
Visiting fellow of the research division: Economic reforms and sustainable development


Catherine has been associated with the CSH since 2009. She completed her PhD in economics in December 2010 at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Her work focuses on the economic implications of caste in terms of poverty, discrimination, and access to public goods.

In a first paper, “Power and endogenous segregation” she has investigated, through a non cooperative game model, the impact of power distribution on the emergence of social segregation and provided historical examples related to the emergence of castes to support the model.

In a second piece of work, titled “Social Identity in India: Caste and Beyond?”, she has investigated the impact of being from a Scheduled Caste or Tribe on perceived social status. This effect has been compared with that of other determinants such as income, occupation and education.

In a third paper titled “Untouchability and Infrastructure”, she has established a relationship between the way water is distributed and the proportion of acts of violence targeting SCs and STs thereby evidencing (a) that untouchability practices are still common and violently enforced (b) that some groups may be excluded from accessing publicly provided goods (c) that water sanitation programs exhibit a nice unexpected side effect of temporarily alleviating caste based violence.

By the yardstick of these results and keeping in mind that there may be caste-based patronage in the access to publicly provided goods, the relationship between social fragmentation and the provision of public goods has been reassessed in a paper titled “Social Fragmentation and Public Goods provision: polarization and patronage in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India”. Results show that members of dominant castes may enjoy a privileged access to common goods and that, in such a context the relationship between social fragmentation and the presence of public goods, if any is mainly positive which is at odds with the negative relationship found in previous studies.