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Technological Capability, Employment Growth and Industrial Development: A Quantitative Anatomy of Indian Scenario


  • Singh, Lakhwinder
  • Shergill, Baldev Singh


The recent spurt of economic growth in India has been described as ‘jobless growth’. In this paper an attempt has been made to examine the question of when industrial development provides required dynamism for generating desired employment opportunities for labour force and when it does not. An industrial technological capability based approach has been adopted to analyse the Indian Industrial development experience during the period 1980 to 2005, which is a quarter century time period. The main finding that emerged from the empirical evidence is that the medium-high-tech industries have shown dynamism in terms of generating employment growth. The labour market regulation view put forward by various scholars supporting the liberalisation policies could not stand the scrutiny of clear demarcation among job creating and job destroying industries under the same circumstances. The relationship between industrial technological capabilities and employment growth turns out to be ambiguous. This implies that weak technological capabilities adversely affect employment growth and heavy dependence on imported technological know-how from the developed countries is labour displacing. It is thus suggested that developing countries should invest both in institutions and industrial firms to develop technological development that suits to resource endowment, specificities of local conditions and suitable to the stage of industrial development. There is a dire need to explore alternative paths of industrial and technological capability development to sustain economic transformation process for achieving prosperity and reducing the time for catch-up development.

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  • Singh, Lakhwinder & Shergill, Baldev Singh, 2009. "Technological Capability, Employment Growth and Industrial Development: A Quantitative Anatomy of Indian Scenario," MPRA Paper 19059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19059

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Szirmai, Adam, 2009. "Industrialisation as an engine of growth in developing countries," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Sen, Kunal, 2008. "International Trade and Manufacturing Employment Outcomes in India: A Comparative Study," WIDER Working Paper Series 087, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Singh, Lakhwinder, 2004. "Technological Progress, Structural Change and Productivity Growth in Manufacturing Sector of South Korea," MPRA Paper 99, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Lee, Keun, 2009. "How Can Korea be a Role Model for Catch-up Development?: A .Capability-based View," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Fallon, Peter R. & Lucas, Robert E. B., 1993. "Job security regulations and the dynamic demand for industrial labor in India and Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 241-275, April.
    6. Morawetz, David, 1974. "Employment Implications of Industrialisation in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(335), pages 491-542, September.
    7. Amsden, Alice H., 2004. "Import substitution in high-tech industries: Prebisch lives in Asia!," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
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    More about this item


    Industrial development; jobless growth; technological capabilities; employment elasticities;

    JEL classification:

    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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