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Determinants of occupational change and mobility in rural India


  • Sarmistha Pal
  • Jocelyn Kynch


With a view to redress the dearth of economic analysis on occupational dynamics in rural household economies, this study examines the nature and characteristics of occupational change and mobility in rural India. Using the unique WIDER data-set from six villages in West Bengal, India the factors causing a change of primary occupation among those who tried to change occupation over a twelve-month recall period has been analysed. Bivariate probit estimates jointly determining the probability of trying to change occupation and having been successful suggest that success in changing occupation depends crucially on socially constructed 'status'- being older, male, from larger farming families or having higher schooling experience. They also exemplify the effects of regional diversity, levels of prosperity and different patterns of employment between agricultural and non-agricultural activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarmistha Pal & Jocelyn Kynch, 2000. "Determinants of occupational change and mobility in rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(12), pages 1559-1573.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:12:p:1559-1573
    DOI: 10.1080/000368400418961

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lerman, Robert I, 1991. "Income Stratification and Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, September.
    2. Ravallion, Martin & Huppi, Monika, 1991. "Measuring Changes in Poverty: A Methodological Case Study of Indonesia during an Adjustment Period," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 57-82, January.
    3. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak, 1994. "When method matters : toward a resolution of the debate about Bangladesh's poverty measures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1359, The World Bank.
    4. Wodon, Quentin T, 1999. "Between Group Inequality and Targeted Transfers," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 21-39, March.
    5. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1997. "Poor areas, or only poor people?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1798, The World Bank.
    6. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1984. "A note on the calculation and interpretation of the Gini index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 363-368.
    7. Quentin Wodon, 1997. "Food energy intake and cost of basic needs: Measuring poverty in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 66-101.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:lan:wpaper:4484 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ham, Roger & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) & Wells, Robert, 2009. "Occupational Choice: Personality Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 4105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:lan:wpaper:4789 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sarmistha Pal, 2003. "How Much of the Gender Difference in Child School Enrolment Can Be Explained? Evidence from Rural India," HEW 0309004, EconWPA.
    5. repec:lan:wpaper:4356 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. A Aggarwal & R Freguglia & G Johnes & G Spricigo, 2011. "Education and labour market outcomes : evidence from India," Working Papers 615663, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    7. repec:lan:wpaper:4355 is not listed on IDEAS

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