Understanding Nrega-- A Simple Theory And Some Facts
A developing economy like India is often characterised by a labour market with demand and supply of labour and a wage that even if competitively determined may not be adequate for the poor household to reach their target income; what they consider as means of a decent living. Envisaging situations like these, the Indian government has implemented the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in recent past, to complement the income of the poor by providing them employment for certain number of labour days in a year. In this paper, using a simple theoretical model, we have analysed the impact of NREGA scheme on (i) rural labour market, (ii) income of the poor households and (iii) overall agricultural production. It is seen that the income from NREGA alone can be a substantial part of the target income of the poor. We show that in such a situation, the poor may exhibit a backward bending supply curve of labour which may lead to an aggregate reduction in agricultural output. This adverse production effect can happen even when the NREGA activities lead to a moderate improvement in agricultural productivity. Data on food prices tend to support our finding to some extent.
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- Arnab Basu, 2013.
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- Sonia Bhalotra, 2003. "Is Child Work Necessary?," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 03/554, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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- Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2010. "Child labor and household wealth: Theory and empirical evidence of an inverted-U," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 8-14, January.
- Kaushik Basu & Sanghamitra Das & Bhaskar Dutta, 2007. "Child labor and household wealth: Theory and empirical evidence of an inverted-U," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 07-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2007. "Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U," IZA Discussion Papers 2736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Child Labor and Household Wealth : Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 888, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2007. "Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U," Working Papers 07-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1991. "Reaching the Rural Poor through Public Employment: Arguments, Evidence, and Lessons from South Asia," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 153-175, July.
- Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & Chaudhuri, Shubham, 1993. "Does Maharashtra's Employment Guarantee Scheme Guarantee Employment? Effects of the 1988 Wage Increase," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 251-275, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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