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Employment growth in rural India: Distress driven?

  • Vinoj Abraham


    (Centre for Development Studies)

The 61st round of NSS shows that there is a turnaround in employment growth in rural India after a phase of `jobless growth'. Paradoxically, this employment growth occurred during a period of wide spread distress in agriculture sector that include low productivity, price instability and stagnation leading to indebtedness. Under the typical neoclassical tradition, this trend would have predicted further contraction of employment in the rural economy. However, further probing reveals that employment growth in the rural areas is probably a response to the crisis that is gripping the agriculture sector. Under conditions of distress, when income levels fall below sustenance then that part of the normally non-working population are forced to enter the labour market to supplement the household income. The decline of agricultural sector has also probably created forced sectoral and regional mobility of the normally working population with the normally non-working population complementing them.

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Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 404.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:404
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  1. K. Sundaram, 2007. "Employment and Poverty in India: 2000-2005," Working Papers id:1100, eSocialSciences.
  2. Sharif, Mohammed, 1991. "Poverty and the forward-falling labor supply function: A microeconomic analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1075-1093, August.
  3. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
  4. K.N. Nair & Vineetha Menon & Vineetha Menon, 2007. "Agrarian distress and livelihood strategies: A Study in Pulpalli panchayat, Wayanad District, Kerala," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 396, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  5. K.N. Nair & Vineetha Menon, 2007. "Distress debt and suicides among agrarian households: Findings from three village studies in Kerala," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 397, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  6. Singh, Inderjit & Squire, Lyn & Strauss, John, 1986. "A Survey of Agricultural Household Models: Recent Findings and Policy Implications," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 149-79, September.
  7. Kristin Mammen & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Women's Work and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
  8. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1979. "Labor Supply Functions in a Poor Agrarian Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 73-83, March.
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