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Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India

  • Timothy Besley
  • Robin Burgess

This paper investigates whether the industrial relations climate in Indian states has affected the pattern of manufacturing growth in the period 1958-1992. We show that states which amended the Industrial Disputes Act in a pro-worker direction experienced lowered output, employment, investment, and productivity in registered or formal manufacturing. In contrast, output in unregistered or informal manufacturing increased. Regulating in a pro-worker direction was also associated with increases in urban poverty. This suggests that attempts to redress the balance of power between capital and labor can end up hurting the poor. © 2004 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 119 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 91-134

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:91-134
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