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The organisational morphology of rural industries and its dynamics in liberalised India: a study of West Bengal

  • Dibyendu Maiti

The paper presents an empirical investigation into alternative forms of organisation of rural industries and their dynamics in the post-reform period of India by means of a field survey carried out in the state of West Bengal in 2001--02. The selected industries (handloom, brassware, hornware, clay works, conchshell and lac works) all belong to traditional crafts. The major organisational forms are 'independent units' and 'tied units', the latter being tied to traders and/or master enterprises for raw materials and work-orders, each of which account for more than 40% of our sample units. The third form, 'cooperative units', is clearly in the decline. Tied units appear to define the upcoming trend bringing the forces released by 'liberalisation', e.g., the growth of exports, drawn to the level of village-artisans. In particular, the system appears to be a vehicle for product-differentiation and innovation, both of which are very much evident in our study area. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 577-591

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:32:y:2008:i:4:p:577-591
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