India started on a program of reforms, both in its external and internal aspects, sometime in the mid-eighties and going on into the nineties. While the increased exposure to world markets (‘globalization’) and relaxation of domestic controls has undoubtedly given a spurt to the GDP growth rate, its impact on poverty, inequality and employment have been controversial. This book examines in detail these aspects of post-reform India and discerns the changes and trends which these new developments have created. Providing an original analysis of unit-level data available from the quinquennial National Sample Surveys, the Annual Surveys of Industries and other basic data sources, the authors analyse and compare the results with other pieces of work in the literature. As well as describing the overall situation for India, the book highlights regional differences, and looks at the major industrial sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tertiary services. The important topic of labor market institutions - both for the formal or organized and the unorganized sectors - is considered and the possible adverse effect on employment growth of the regulatory labor framework is examined carefully. Since any reform of this framework must go hand in hand with better state intervention in the informal sector to have any chance of acceptance politically, some of the major initiatives in this area are critically explored. Overall, this book will be of great interest to development economists, labour economists and specialists in South Asian Studies.
1. Introduction: An Overview of Globalization, Reforms and Macro-Economic Developments in India Part 1: Trends in Poverty, Inequality, Employment and Earnings 2. Poverty, Growth and Inequality in the Pre- and Post-Reform Periods and the Patterns of Urbanization in India: An Analysis for All-India and the Major States 3. Trends in Employment and Earnings 1983-2000 4. Accounting for the Decline in Labor Supply in the Nineties Part 2: Regional Dimensions 5. Some Implications of Regional Differences in Labor Market Outcomes in India Ahmad Ahsan and Carmen Pages 6. Trend in Regional Disparities in Poverty, Incidence: An Analysis based on NSS Regions Part 3: Employment and Earnings in the Major Sectors 7. Agricultural Productivity, Off-Farm Employment and Rural Poverty: The Problem of Labor Absorption in Agriculture 8. Employment Elasticity in Organized Manufacturing in India 9. Dualism in Indian Manufacturing: Causes and Consequences 10. Growth of Employment and Earnings in the Tertiary Sector Part 4: Labor Market Institutions 11. Regulations, Enforcement and Adjudication in Indian Labor Markets: Origins, Consequences and the Way Forward Ahmad Ahsan, Carmen Pages and Tirthankar Roy 12. Strengthening Employment and Social Security for Unorganized Workers Philip O’Keefe 13. Epilogue. Conclusions