Women's work in India
07 September, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The decline in workforce participation by women in India reflects shift from paid to unpaid work. In the absence of basic amenities, a greater proportion of women are engaged in fetching water, collecting fuel for cooking. Once we take into account these unpaid and socially unrecognised activities done by women, it is found that workforce participation of women is greater than men.
Changes in the Structure of Employment in India
14 August, 2018, Vikas Rawal
An analysis of overall trends in the structure of employment, differentiated between men and women, between rural and urban workers, and across different sectors. With an emphasis on using age-cohort analysis, the dynamics of change in the employment structure are elucidated. The paper looks at changes in the overall size of the labour force and in work participation rates between 1993–94 and 2011–12 and talks about changes in employment structure across different industries as well as impact of improvement in educational attainment on employment conditions of young workers.
Factory Workers in India
14 August, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The number of workers in the industrial factory sector in India has grown since 2005-06, but other trends suggest that the bargaining power of such workers remains low.
Why didn't Socialism have Over-production Crises?
02 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The period after 2008 has witnessed prolonged overproduction crisis which was not seen in the old socialist economies. A market driven capitalist economy that has its foundations on the principle of antagonism is the source of this glut.
The So-called "Consumers' Interest"
21 May, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The argument in the wake of the Walmart-Flipkart deal, that having large multinationals in the sphere serves consumers’ interest not only ignores the plight of local producers but is also analytically unsound. “Consumers” are not an entity distinct from the displaced producers and will get affected adversely over time.
The True Face of the Global Recovery
11 April, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Optimistic assessments of the synchronised recovery across the world economy ignore the factors driving the weak upturn that make it fragile.
Technological Change and Impoverishment
19 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Socio-economic effects of technological change depend upon the property relations within the system they occur. While in socialism higher labour productivity can improve the conditions of workers, in capitalism, the same has lead to growing relative labour reserves, and hence impoverishment.
Indian IT hits a speedbump
21 November, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
A sharp deceleration in growth and restricted employment expansion in the IT sector, India’s post-liberalisation showpiece, has implications beyond the industry’s boundaries.
Strangulating the Informal Economy
12 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current slowdown in the economy, aggravated by the persistent world economic crisis, has much to do with the twin coercive instruments of demonetisation and GST wielded by the state to strangulate the informal economy in a bid to formalise it.
Sanitation workers in India
08 September, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The deeply entrenched casteist approach to manual scavenging is part of public policy and explains why the practice continues unabated and why the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in effect relies on it.
The Economy: 70 years after Independence
30 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Indias' reliance on fortuitous and volatile stimuli to drive growth has resulted in inadequate job creation and widened inequalities while failing to address social deprivation.
China's Labour Market Conundrum
05 July, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Has China's labour market reached a point where long years of high growth have led to demand outstripping supply, resulting in a sharp rise in wages?
The GDP elephant
06 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely technocratic but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark.
Recognising Different Skills and their Uses
14 September, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Definition of skill with reference of economic activities is more complex, involving different kinds of skills that are not always easily recognised, since purely technical skills seem to get all the attention in the discussion about skill formation.
Care Work as the Work of the Future
16 August, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
As technological change threatens many different kinds of jobs, the significance of direct face-to-face interaction required in much care work means that it is unlikely to be as adversely affected. What does this mean for the future requirements of care workers?
Looking to the US
09 June, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
In a curious turn of events, the US economy rather than the Asian emerging markets is now expected to lead a global recovery. But the reason and implications are not so clear.
One Year of Modi Government: Social sector
27 May, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Modi governments vast and sweeping cuts in essential social spending will adversely impact the basic conditions of living and affect the prospects of the aspirational youth.
Will the Recent Changes in Labour Laws Usher in 'Acche Din' for the Working Class?
23 April, 2015, Anamitra Roychowdhury
The recent changes in the labour laws are overwhelmingly in favour of the employers and detrimental to the cause of the working class.
Skills Mismatch and All That
02 February, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The challenge of good quality employment generation requires an approach which sees skill development as part of a broader macroeconomic and development strategy.
Where's the "Missing Middle" in Indian Industry?
09 December, 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
While the problem of missing middle is taken for granted in the Indian industry, official data reveal that medium sized firms actually dominate in both employment and output.
Recent Changes in Labour Laws: An exploratory note
12 November, 2014, Anamitra Roychowdhury
This article explores the possible implications of amending the Contract Labour Act, 1970 and questions the rationale behind amending the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
What Exactly is Work?
31 October, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
If the way of recognising and measuring work in India is changed according to the new ICLS definition, the picture of female work participation trend would change remarkably.
Are Women Really Working Less in India?
21 August, 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Recent NSS data indicate significant declines in Female work force participation rates with a shift from paid work to unpaid domestic activities for both rural and urban women.
Blaming the "Other"
15 May, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The BJP's aggressive stance on migrants from Bangladesh is economically stupid. Strategies that seek to exploit such divisive attitudes will boomerang on all Indians.
Workers Dying in Qatar
24 February, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Recognising the rights of migrant workers in Qatar is obviously crucial; but it is equally important to recognise the rights of workers in India.
A Reality Check on the Labour Market Flexibility Argument in India
05 February, 2014, Anamitra Roychowdhury
It is wrong to identify labour laws as the major reason for slow growth in employment, since employment protection laws apply only to a subset of the total organised sector.
Is Social Discrimination in Indian Labour Markets Coming Down?
04 February, 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Indian labour markets are segmented by gender, caste and other social categories. But recent evidence of the wage gaps suggests some improvement, especially in rural areas.
The Rural Employment Guarantee under UPA-2
07 January, 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
After the initial success in enacting the MNREGA, the central governments enthusiasm for its own programme seems to have diminished in its second term.
Where have All the Women Workers Gone?
14 November, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
By using recent Indian employment data, the authors examine the evidence on womens work participation in rural and urban areas and consider some possible explanations.
Indias Informal Economy
29 October, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
India's large informal sector's extreme backwardness makes the quality of growth poor. Existing vague definitions also do not help in understanding its potential.
Do Wage Shares Have to Fall with Globalisation?
23 July, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
That inequality has been on the rise during the period of globalisation is evident from the declining shares of labour income in GDP in many parts of the world.
The Employment Bottleneck
09 July, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The results from the NSSO's uncharacteristic survey carried out in 2011-12 reveal that the retake on employment in a good agricultural year has also not brought all good news.
What Census 2011 Reveals about Our Growers and Their Land
05 June, 2013, Rahul Goswami
The change in the number of cultivators and agricultural labourers provided by Census 2011 should help us recognise the growing impacts on food security caused by urbanisation.
More Farmers or Fewer?
13 May, 2013, Rahul Goswami
The consequences of western Maharashtras urbanisation on the food security of the 14 districts that have sent rural workers to that region are yet to be recognised.
Economic Crises and Womens Work: Exploring progressive strategies in a rapidly changing environment
11 March, 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Analysis of womens employment and decent work in the context of the global economic crisis shows that gender sensitive policy responses are more likely to be successful.
Changing Patterns of Domestic Work
14 November, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Domestic work is emerging as an important activity for women workers in several developing countries as well as recently in urban India.
The Role of the Small Retailer
06 October, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
As evidence suggests, policy of pushing organised retail will result in substantial loss of employment and livelihood contrary to the official claim of employment growth.
FDI in Retail: Benefiting neoliberalism, harming people
26 September, 2012, Subhanil Chowdhury
The decision of the UPA government to open up the retail sector in the country to FDI is an example of the basic fallacy in the growth fetishism of the votaries of neo-liberalism. While the government argues that this move will generate investor confidence in the Indian economy and lead the country to high growth, in reality the problems of the common people- deprivation, poverty and hunger- far from being ameliorated will actually be intensified.
India's Supermarket Move Shows its Tired Government has Run Out of Ideas
21 September, 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Opening up Indias retail sector to western supermarkets will lead to exploitation of small producers and adverse employment effects. Despite vehement opposition the government insists on pushing through this reform, a move that speaks of a tired regime which has run out of ideas.
Emerging Dynamics of Global Production Networks and Labour Process: A study from India
12 September, 2012, Praveen Jha & Amit Chakraborty
With cheap labour and a strong supply base, Indias automobile sector has emerged successful in integrating itself into the global production networks. Using case studies from the National Capital Region, this paper seeks to study the nature of changes in the organisation of production and work in the automobile sector both intra-firm and inter-firm and their impact on the changing labour processes and issues of managerial control, skill or working conditions. The anatomy of the recent waves of labour unrest there has been studied to investigate its relation with changing labour processes, and to understand the new regime of accumulation from a political economy perspective in terms of the dynamic interaction of capitals strategy, technology and the agency of labour.
Labour Market Regulations and Economic Outcomes: Some capital lessons and minor messages
08 August, 2012, Praveen Jha, Sakti Golder & Swayamsiddha Pandav
This paper provides a survey of the empirical evidence on the relationship between labour market institutions and economic outcomes. Survey of major cross-country empirical constructs that examine linkages between labour regulations and different aspects of economic performance such as employment, growth, etc., shows that the empirical basis for the advocacy of blanket labour market flexibility is rather weak. The paper also highlights some key empirical findings from the organised manufacturing sector in India and postulates some capital lessons and minor messages that emerge from such an exercise.
Engineering Teaching and Research in IITs and its Impact on India
05 July, 2012, Milind Sohoni
The dominant paradigm of research and development (R&D), as it is practised in India's premier engineering institutes, has not only been abstract and lacking in diversity, but has also been too 'international' to incentivise work on our own development problems. Such an inverted incentive structure in the socio-economically important engineering job market has been macroeconomically observable in the faster growth in service sector as compared to manufacturing.
The Queen and her Guards
13 June, 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The aggrandised celebration that marked the Queens diamond jubilee was successful in concealing the grim economic realities of the British economy. A disquieting employment situation, discussed in the article, raises concern that it could just be the tip of the iceberg and that a sweatshop scenario that was once regarded as typical of the developing world exists in the UK as well.
ILO Leadership Election Must Not be Another Charade
21 May, 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The ILO is uniquely positioned among the multilateral organisations to play an extremely significant role in forging a global consensus around viable alternative economic trajectories. The election of a developing country candidate as its new Director-General would have important consequences that go beyond symbolism.
The Roaring 2000s
11 May, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The coincidence of the profit and the output booms during the two post-liberalisation booms in Indias organised manufacturing sector since the early 1990s suggests that in periods of rising demand, the organised manufacturing sector in India has been a major beneficiary of reform through a rise in mark up. The complaints of the leaders of this sector are therefore not to be taken too seriously.
Retail Rollback
26 December, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Permitting FDI in retail trade, wherein a few oligopolistic buyers would come to dominate the retail trade, will lead to adverse employment effects and an erosion of real incomes of small crop producers.
Multinational Retail Firms in India
12 December, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The actual impact of large corporate retail, and especially multinational retail chains, in developing countries clearly shows that many of the claims made by proponents of such corporate retailing in terms of employment generation or benefits to producers and consumers are suspect or sometimes completely false.
Retrogression in Retail
01 December, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Permitting FDI in retail trade, wherein a few oligopolistic buyers would come to dominate the retail trade, will lead to adverse employment effects and an erosion of real incomes of small crop producers.
Employment Generation as an Economic Strategy for Uncertain Times
14 November, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
This is the acceptance speech made by the author at the award function of the ILO Decent Work Research Prize, 2010. Discussing the growing pressures in the current global scenario, she argues for a shift in macroeconomic strategy towards domestic wage- and employment-led growth as a means to sustainable growth, as well as an end in itself.
The G20 and Employment Outlook
12 October, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
A recent ILO document on employment and labour market outlook in G20 countries points towards an economic crisis of major magnitude in most of them. According to the report, the two key challenges for global policy makers at present are to ensure better utilisation of labour resources and better quality jobs.
The Challenge of Ensuring Full Employment in the Twenty-first Century
12 October, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The recent economic growth process in India and other parts of the developing world exhibits the inability of even high rates of output growth to generate sufficient opportunities for 'decent work' to meet the needs of the growing labour force. Therefore, there is a clear case for a shift towards wage-led and domestic demand-led growth, particularly in the economies that are large enough to sustain this shift.
Employment Shifts after the Global Crisis
04 October, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The stagnation of employment in developed countries and apparent recovery in developing countries after the Great Recession of 2008-09 have renewed perceptions of a global shift in employment to the developing world, particularly in manufacturing activities. This article uses the most recent available ILO data to examine the extent to which such a shift is actually occurring.
Approaching the 12th Plan
26 September, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Considering India's slow growth of employment in the recent period because of our demographic bulge and increasing numbers of educated youth in search of productive employment, the need of the hour is to redesign our growth strategy and use social policy and social expenditure to generate more employment as employment creation is the most important mechanism for achieving inclusive economic growth.
Higher Education: Dealing with higher expectations
07 September, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
There has been a significant increase in enrolment in higher education in developing countries (especially Asia) in the past decade. However, this positive change also brings forth certain challenges, the most obvious of which is the challenge of generating enough employment to meet expectations of growing numbers of new graduates.
The Urbanisation Challenge
10 August, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Addressing the problems posed by growing ''urbanisation'' is one of the major challenges for India at present. The country faces a potentially deadly combination of growing population in small urban areas with poor or possibly non-existent facilities and inadequate good quality employment generation.
Women's Work in India: Has anything changed?
09 August, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
One of the striking features of the latest National Sample Survey round results is the apparent decline in female employment in 2009-10 compared to 2004-05. The other depressing feature that emerges from the survey is that economic growth has still not generated a process of employment diversification for women.
Deciphering Employment Trends
26 July, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
One distinctive feature of the labour market in India is the fact that casual work in the construction sector has been the main source of employment during a period when India transited to its much-celebrated high-growth trajectory.
The Latest Employment Trends from the NSSO
14 July, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
No sooner were the results of the 66th Round of the National Sample Survey Organisation (relating to data collected in 2009-10) released, than they became the subject of great controversy. Surprisingly, the controversy was created not by critics of the government and its statistical system, but from within government circles!
Is the MNREGS Affecting Rural Wages?
04 February, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Despite numerous problems with the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Scheme has borne some positive results. Ironically, the moderate success of the Scheme in improving the conditions and bargaining power of rural labour, including that of women workers, has now become another source of its criticism.
Public Works and Wages in Rural India
11 January, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Data from the 64th Round of the National Sample Survey, which was specifically concerned with migration and employment conditions, allow for an examination of trends in real wages and the impact of the MNREGS on wages and unemployment. In this article, the authors consider the evidence of these effects on the work conditions of rural casual labour, especially women workers.
Migrating for Work
28 December, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
One of the important features of labour markets and working conditions of workers in India that has always been inadequately captured by our statistical system is economic migration. The Census data collection exercise is concerned only with current residence and permanent migration. It does not even attempt to capture short-term of seasonal flows of people, and - because of its rather strict definition of permanent migration - it even tends to leave out fairly prolonged periods of migration.
Employment under the New Growth Trajectory
22 December, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Two developments have been taken as confirmation of the view that India has transited to a virtuous, high growth trajectory in recent years. One is the evidence of near sustained 8-9 per cent rate of GDP growth since 2003-04 and the rather quick and sharp recovery of GDP growth after the deceleration triggered by the global financial and economic crisis. The second is the evidence of a significant pick up in employment growth rates between the 55th and 61st Rounds of the National Sample Survey Organisation relating to 1999-2000 and 2004-05.
The Crisis and Employment in Asia
15 February, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Ever since the global financial and economic crisis broke, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been regularly tracking its impact on the level and quality of employment. In January 2009, the ILO (International Labour Office 2009) indicated that, under alternate scenarios, global unemployment could increase by between 18 million or 51 million people worldwide from 2007 to 2009.
The Plight of Construction Workers
05 August, 2009, Jayati Ghosh
Lakhs of construction workers in Delhi face inadequate safety provisions, poor working arrangements and dire living conditions. But, even as the money collected as cess for meeting the social security needs of these workers lies unutilised, an outlandish proposal has been made to use a part of this money in a way that will effectively subsidise contractors and builders.
Indian Labour Market Report 2008
11 May, 2009,
The paradoxical feature of a positive GDP growth rate along with unfavourable employment trends have been one of the most pressing contemporary concerns related to the opening up of the Indian economy. This first bi-annual report published by the Adecco-TISS Labour Market Research Initiatives seeks to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation of the Indian labour market in terms of its composition across different segments, sectors, regions and gender. It includes detailed analysis of unemployed and underemployed labour force and even those who are not in the labour force. The industry perspective on issues of employment is also captured through a primary survey of select industries in the manufacturing and emerging sectors.
Social Inclusion in the NREGS
05 March, 2009, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The NREGS is a particularly important strategy in the current economic context of global economic crisis and national economic slowdown, when raising aggregate demand is a major task for the government. Fiscal policy that provides more wage income directly to unskilled workers and in rural areas is likely to be much more effective in increasing aggregate incomes than other forms of public spending, because of the higher value of the multiplier in such expenditure.
Equity and Inclusion through Public Expenditure: The potential of the NREGS
29 January, 2009, Jayati Ghosh
In the present situation of global economic crisis and national economic slowdown, ''inclusive'' public expenditure, such as in the NREGS, is not only desirable from a social or welfare perspective - it also provides very direct economic benefits. This is because wage employment schemes like NREGS tend to be self-targeting and thus will lead to a higher multiplier effect, making government expenditure more effective in reviving output and indirect employment.
Employment and the Pattern of Growth
08 October, 2008, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Estimates made by the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) provide a much clearer picture of employment in the organized industrial sector than available hitherto.
Implementing the NREGS
24 September, 2008, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has now been in operation for more than two years, even though it is still being extended to all the rural areas of the country. In that relatively short time, it has already become one of the most avidly studied programmes of the central government, with many independent evaluations in different states as well as government audit of its performance thus far.
Public Health on The Cheap
01 August, 2008, Jayati Ghosh
Government policy in the social sectors in India clearly relies heavily on the unpaid or underpaid labour of women. These women often perform essential and demanding tasks that typically amount to full-time work, but not given the status of regular government employees, and paid wages that fall below the minimum wages.
The Crisis of Home-based Work
17 June, 2008, Jayati Ghosh
Recent data on employment shows that the share of women working in manufacturing in a subsidiary capacity has been increasing continuously since 1987-88. This shows the increase in putting out home-based or other work as part of a subcontracting system for export and domestic manufacturing, which are not included in official employment statistics. These are often on piece rate basis, usually very poorly paid and without any known non-wage benefits.
Bread, Circuses and The Media
06 June, 2008, Jayati Ghosh
The obsession of the media with the middle classes in urban areas means that issues related to the working class and rural population often gets inadequate coverage. When serious issues like worsening labour conditions in a big growing city like Delhi goes unnoticed despite a major strike to protest the same, the role of the media in bringing to our attention the realities of India cannot but be questioned.
The Impact of Macroeconomic Change on Employment in the Retail Sector in India: Policy Implications for Growth, Sectoral Change and Employment
15 May, 2008, Jayati Ghosh, Amitayu Sengupta & Anamitra Roychoudhury
This study is concerned with the employment situation in India's retail sector. High economic growth in India has not produced satisfactory outcomes of job growth, both in terms of quantity and quality. Concern has arisen that many of the working poor engaged in small-scale retailing and street vending are crowded by entries of large-scale domestic as well as foreign retailers. Share of workers' income in manufacturing has also seen a decline, despite labour productivity growth, during the last decade. This paper argues that economic policy in India needs to be made more inclusive and equitable. The only sure way of doing so would be making it more pro-job and pro-poor, through examining employment implications of macro policies that accompany economic liberalization.
Recent Growth in West Bengal
12 May, 2008, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
For the greater part of the past three decades, West Bengal has been among the middle ranking states of India, both in terms of per capita income and human development indicators. This has been despite the special feature of the state, that it has been ruled continuously by a Left Front government that has provided political stability and also, particularly in the first two decades, a clear orientation towards improving the conditions of workers and peasants.
The NREGA and its Critics
10 March, 2008, Jayati Ghosh
Contrary to the media criticism of NREGPA based on the recent CAG draft report om grounds of leakages, widespread corruption, inability to reach beneficiaries and create useful assets, the CAG Report has actually pointed out that the shortage of administrative and technical staff has prevented the programme from doing what it was supposed to do to the full extent The report also highlights the urgent need to ensure more administrative assistance for the programme at all levels.
Social Security Benefits and the New Pension Scheme
29 September, 2007, Ratan Khasnabis
On January 1, 2004, Government Of India (GOI) has introduced the New Pension Scheme (NPS) for the new entrants to the service of the Central Government (other than Armed Forces). NPS is a Defined Contribution Scheme (DPS).
Jobless Growth in Chinese Manufacturing
15 May, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
China is increasingly seen as the manufacturing powerhouse of the developing world, to which manufacturing jobs from the North are increasingly being transferred. However, the actual evidence on Chinese employment shows a somewhat different recent reality.
The Progress of "Reform" and the Retrogression of Agriculture
25 April, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The consequence of recent structural shifts is that the Indian economy can record the observed creditable rates of non-inflationary growth of aggregate GDP even when its agricultural sector languishes. It appears that a feature of the growth process in a more open and liberalised environment is that the peasantry has a much smaller a role in sustaining economic growth and can thus be partially excluded from development. What is disconcerting is that the self-correcting mechanism that existed in the earlier period to restore a semblance of balance between agricultural and non-agricultural growth are no more operative.
A Model of Growth of the Contemporary Indian Economy
10 April, 2007, Prabhat Patnaik
This paper provides a simple model of the current pattern of India's economic growth process, to reckon with the fact that even an accelerating growth rate may leave the unemployment problem completely unresolved, or even accentuated, as labour productivity rises at a faster rate than investment. An obvious conclusion that emerges is that the widely-held perception that higher and higher growth rates would eventually eradicate unemployment in the country, is untenable.
Self-employment as Opportunity or Challenge
30 March, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The enormous increase in the proportion and number of self-employed workers in India in recent years is still not adequately analysed. This paper looks at the conditions of self-employment in terms of perceptions of remuneration and work intensity. It is shown that the rising trend of self-employment reflects the precarious conditions of labour markets in India, where paid employment is simply not increasing fast enough to meet the needs of the growing labour force.
Some Aspects of the Well-Being of India's Agricultural Labour in the Context of Contemporary Agrarian Crisis
22 February, 2007, Praveen Jha
This paper explores why the official poverty estimates show low levels as well as decline in poverty in India over the 1990s, whereas all other economic and social indicators suggest that absolute poverty is high. The former do not capture the true picture because the official method involves the 'fallacy of equivocation'. It is also argued that when actual rural poverty is as high as nearly four-fifths of the population and poverty depth is increasing with a higher proportion of people being pushed down into lower nutritional status, there is an urgent need to revert to a demand-driven universal public distribution system.
Women Workers in Urban India
06 February, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The state of California in the United States has for a while been the standard bearer of policy measures that reduce state responsibility in critical areas that were typically the responsibility of public provision earlier. The privatisation of electricity utilities was one infamous example, in which California led the world and ended up providing a textbook case of how not to privatise power distribution.
Growth, Employment and Technology
05 February, 2007, Jayati Ghosh
The generation of productive and remunerative employment is probably the central process in equitable growth. This is of course a concern that is as old as the study of economic growth itself, and effectively underlies all the debates about the possibilities of ''trickle-down'' of growth. But it has acquired particular resonance in India in the recent past because of the apparent transformation of the economy and increase in its growth potential, which has surprisingly (and unfortunately) not been accompanied by commensurate increases in remunerative employment.
Growth and Employment in Organised Industry
30 January, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The rapid growth of output of organised industry is a frequently cited indicator of India's current phase of dynamic growth. Yet such expansion has not been accompanied by employment growth along the lines expected. This paper considers the nature of recent growth in organised industry and the reasons why it has not generated more employment.
Poverty and Neo-liberalism in India
06 January, 2007, Utsa Patnaik
This paper explores why the official poverty estimates show low levels as well as decline in poverty in India over the 1990s, whereas all other economic and social indicators suggest that absolute poverty is high.
Being Your Own Boss
18 December, 2006, Jayati Ghosh
There are important changes taking place in labour markets in India. The results of the latest large round of the National Sample Survey Organisation, which took place in 2004-05, have just been released. They reveal some significant changes in the employment patterns and conditions of work in India over the first half of this decade.
The Jobless Young
08 December, 2006, Jayati Ghosh
The arguments about the economic benefits that a demographic bulge can provide India become invalid against the backdrop of the latest NSS data on employment and unemployment. The growing numbers of young unemployed given by the recent data suggest that the potential advantages of a demographic dividend will be outweighed by social instability.
Resources for Equitable Growth
07 December, 2006, Economic Research Foundation
The declared aims of the Planning Commission's Approach to the XIth Plan, all of which require substantially increased public expenditure in physical infrastructure and social sectors, simply cannot be met within the confines of a restrictive fiscal policy stance. The need to rethink policies of resource generation and financial regulation is therefore urgent. In this context, this paper, presented to the National Commission on Enterprises in the Informal Sector, seeks to examine the effects of the three perceptions underlying the prevailing fiscal conservatism, questions their validity and offers some alternatives for mobilising resources for development.
Working More for Less
28 November, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
According to data from the recently released NSS large survey, between 1999-2000 and 2004-05, there was a revival of aggregate employment growth to approximately the rates achieved in the 1980s. In a previous paper, we had noted that this employment growth was essentially in non-agriculture in both rural and urban areas, and dominantly in self-employment for male workers, as well as substantial increase in regular work for women workers.
Social Inequality, Labour Market Dynamics and the Need for Expanding Reservation - Some Issues for Consideration
05 September, 2006, Mritiunjoy Mohanty
This paper brings two new elements to the debate around expanding reservation in centres of excellence in higher education. First, it establishes that Upper Caste Hindus are significantly better off in education, employment and relative incomes than ST, SC or OBC populations. Second, it links this privileged positioning of Upper Castes Hindus with changing labour market dynamics in the 1990s and shows how Upper Caste Hindus dominate the best jobs in the Urban economy.
The Need to Protect Petty Production
17 July, 2006, Prabhat Patnaik
This paper argues that in a situation where unemployment is generated through the disappearance of small-scale production, the ''efficiency'' argument in favour of their closure does not stand, even if small-scale units are more inefficient at the micro-level.
Providing Social Security to Unorganised Workers
26 June, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Among the several important failures of the Indian development process so far, the complete neglect of working conditions and social security for most of our citizens is one that is especially marked.
The Children of Migrant Workers
03 June, 2006, Jayati Ghosh
While the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act - if it is effectively implemented - is likely to have many positive consequences, one of the potential benefits that has been inadequately recognised is how it may improve the welfare of around 60 million children. These are children of migrant workers, who are currently among those very adversely affected by the recent patterns of increased material pressure which has driven adult men and women to short term migration in search of work.
Making the Employment Guarantee Work
20 May, 2006, Jayati Ghosh
It almost seems like a mini-revolution. In one of the most backward districts of the Hindi heartland, in an area which is traditionally neglected by public policy and where most citizens experience of the state is oppressive rather than sympathetic, there is suddenly a very different feeling of optimism and sense of rights, creating new expectations among ordinary people that are almost palpable, and new pressures upon the local government machinery to deliver to meet these expectations.
Singur and the Political Economy of Structural Change
17 February, 2006, Mritiunjoy Mohanty
The paper explores the controversy that has surrounded the West Bengal Government's land acquisition programme in Singur and situates it within the overall context of economic growth and transformation. It argues one of the most adversely affected groups as a result of the acquisition is relatively large farmers for whom agriculture is a source of accumulation and not livelihood and subsistence. This might explain in part why the resistance has been so strong. The paper argues that equitable and sustained growth is possible only by reducing the share of agriculture in the labour force and therefore that the West Bengal Government's strategy has to focus on maximising the generation of non-farm rural employment.
IT- Driven Offshoring: The Exaggerated "Development Opportunity"
27 January, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
This paper considers the recent boom in IT-driven offshoring in India and examines the potential for this to become a major source of economic growth in the future.
Who needs a ''Knowledge Economy'': Information, Knowledge and Flexible Labour
13 December, 2005, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In India's progress towards a knowledge economy, the goalpost is not even in sight. Yet this potential is being emphasised and supportive policies are being advocated merely based on the success of enclave-type growth in the IT sector mainly because the argument can be used to justify economic policies, especially labour market policies, which are clearly inappropriate.
The Millennium Development Goals
07 December, 2005, Jayati Ghosh
In the year 2000, the UN General assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration, in which world leaders committed to achieving a set of 8 goals by 2015. Since then, these Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, have become the latest buzzword at different levels
The Employment-Poverty Link in Bangladesh
06 December, 2005, Jayati Ghosh
For nearly three decades now, the economy of Bangladesh has been growing at slightly more than 4 per cent, and per capita income growth even accelerated in the 1990s compared to the previous decades. In the 1980s, per capita GDP had grown slowly at the rate of about 1.6 per cent per annum.
The Debate on Reservations in the Private Sector
15 October, 2005, Jayati Ghosh
It is commonplace to say about debates that they ''generate more heat than light'' or that ''the opposing sides have missed the essential point''. But here is one debate where it is difficult to say either. The Indian debate has definitely generated both a lot of heat and light, and there are clearly valid points made at both ends of the spectrum.

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