Affirmative Action in India: Restricted Strategy Space, Complex Constraints, and Direct Mechanism Design

Thumbnail Image
Supplemental Files
Aygün, Orhan
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Turhan, Bertan
Associate Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

Dates of Existence

Historical Names

  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

Related Units

Journal Issue
Is Version Of
Since the 1950s, India has instituted an intricate affirmative action program through a meticulously designed reservation system. This system incorporates vertical and horizontal reservations to address historically marginalized groups’ socioeconomic imbalances. Vertical reservations designate specific quotas of available positions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and Economically Weaker Sections. Concurrently, horizontal reservations are employed within each vertical category to allocate positions for additional subgroups, such as women and individuals with disabilities. In educational admissions, the legal framework recommended that unfilled positions reserved for the OBC category revert to unreserved status. Moreover, we document that individuals from vertically reserved categories have more complicated preferences over institution-vertical category position pairs, even though authorities only elicit their preferences over institutions. To address these challenges, the present paper proposes a novel class of Generalized Lexicographic (GL) choice rules. This class is comprehensive, subsuming the most salient priority structures discussed in the extant matching literature. Utilizing the GL choice rules and the deferred acceptance mechanism, we present a robust framework that generates equitable and effective solutions for resource allocation problems in the Indian context.
JEL Classification: C78, D02, D47, I38
Length: 41 pages
Original Release Date: October 4, 2023
Revision: November 1, 2023
Latest Revision: November 22, 2023

Copyright 2023, The Authors