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Prospects of Non-Farm Employment and Welfare in Rural Areas


  • Simrit Kaur


  • Vani S. Kulkarni
  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Manoj K. Pandey


Employment elasticity with respect to agriculture value added in South Asia has weakened in recent years. While crop diversification has grown and value added per hectare also grew, employment growth was sluggish. However, the linkages between farm and non-farm employment remain strong. Drawing upon the 50th and 61st rounds of the National Sample Surveys (NSS) for India in 1993 and 2004, we first review the changes in participation rates in farm and non-farm activities by gender, age, education and caste affiliations. This is followed by an econometric analysis of contribution of farm and non-farm employment towards welfare in terms of per capita expenditure. The focus is on household characteristics (size, composition, education, land holding), and community characteristics (access to roads, power and financial services). Using a measure of normalised rainfall, we assess how rainfall shocks influence welfare in farm and non-farm activities. The fact that welfare of selfemployed in non-farm activities became more sensitive to rainfall shocks in 2004, relative to 1993, suggests stronger linkages between farm and non-farm activities. Also, the welfare of self-employed in agriculture became more sensitive to rainfall shocks in 2004, presumably due to expansion of agriculture into arid and semi-arid areas. Finally, and not so surprising is the greater sensitiveness of welfare of agricultural labour households to rainfall shocks. So while education and better infrastructure will help enhance welfare in farm and non-farm activities, the policy concern for resilience against rainfall shocks is reinforced.

Suggested Citation

  • Simrit Kaur & Vani S. Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha & Manoj K. Pandey, 2010. "Prospects of Non-Farm Employment and Welfare in Rural Areas," ASARC Working Papers 2010-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-05

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    Cited by:

    1. Briones, M.R., 2018. "IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 20 - Transformation and diversification of the rural economy in Asia," IFAD Research Series 280069, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
    2. Manoj K. Pandey, 2013. "Elderly's Health Shocks and Household's Ex-ante Poverty in India," ASARC Working Papers 2013-01, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & Hardy, Daniel, 2015. "Addressing poverty and inequality in the rural economy from a global perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 63257, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item


    Rainfall Shocks; Agriculture; Non-Agriculture; Employment; Income; Consumption; Infrastructure; Education; South Asia; India;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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