Age heaping among Indian Hawkers in south-eastern Australia and their source communities in the Punjāb

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Abstract

Age heaping (the inflated frequency of life ages ending in the digits of 0 and 5) is evident when compiling the nominated ages at death of Punjabi hawkers in Australia. In the literature, age heaping has been widely used as a measure of literacy and numeracy of a source community, and by extension as a proxy for that community’s human capital. This paper examines the nature and causes of age heaping in the Punjab and in India in general. Drawing on late nineteenth and early twentieth century census data, it can be demonstrated that the postulated nexus between age heaping and literacy and numeracy is entirely spurious. Rather, census collection and reporting methodologies are to blame for the observed age heaping bias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-202
Number of pages54
JournalJournal of Sikh and Punjāb Studies
Volume24
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2017

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