Segmentation of Rural Labour Contracts: Some Further Evidence
The paper offers an explanation of labour tying commonly observed in seasonally agricultural economies. Employers may either hire regular labourers in the slack season to satisfy all or most of the labour demand in the high season but have underutilised labour in the low-demand season or rely on casual labourers only. Thus farmers hiring regular labour may also hire some casual labour as and when needed to minimise the hoarding costs of regular labour. Secondly, daily regular wages are usually lower than daily casual wages, but regular labourers usually get some wage-advance as well. Thus asset-poor workers have incentives to choose regular labour with interest-free wage advance because they face high marginal costs of credit in the segmented credit markets. The optimum hoarding costs decrease with increase in farm size, but increase with increase in spot market wages. However with improved availability of alternative employment opportunities and/or cheaper credit facilities to the asset-poor labourers, the supply of regular labour is likely to decline. Empirical evidence from the ICRISAT villages in south India seems to be consistent with the primary propositions of the model. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research
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Volume (Year): 54 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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