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High Non-Wage Employment in India: Revisiting the ‘Paradox’ in Capitalist Development


  • Roy, Satyaki


High non-wage employment persisting with high growth appears to be a paradox in capitalist development because commoditisation of labour power assuming the form of wage labour is specific to capitalism and the sole source of surplus value. This paper, drawing from various strands of Marxian literature, argues that capitalism never existed in isolation in ‘pure’ and pristine form, and the fundamental class process of surplus production is constituted by subsumed class processes and non-class processes that involve non-capital in several moments. Although the interaction of capital with the non-capitalist space signifies a confluence of separate processes, it overdetermines the existence and stability of capitalism by a complex dialectics of force and persuasion involving economic, political and ideological determinations.

Suggested Citation

  • Roy, Satyaki, 2010. "High Non-Wage Employment in India: Revisiting the ‘Paradox’ in Capitalist Development," MPRA Paper 35902, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35902

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mead, Donald C., 1994. "The contribution of small enterprises to employment growth in southern and eastern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(12), pages 1881-1894, December.
    2. Paddy Quick, 2004. "Subsistence Wages and Household Production: Clearing the Way for an Analysis of Class and Gender," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 20-36, March.
    3. Moser, Caroline O. N., 1978. "Informal sector or petty commodity production: Dualism or dependence in urban development?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(9-10), pages 1041-1064.
    4. Harvey, David, 2005. "The New Imperialism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278084.
    5. Marginson, Simon, 1998. "Value Creation in the Production of Services: A Note on Marx," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(5), pages 573-585, September.
    6. Patnaik, Prabhat, 1997. "Accumulation and Stability under Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288053.
    7. Mead, Donald C. & Liedholm, Carl, 1998. "The dynamics of micro and small enterprises in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 61-74, January.
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    More about this item


    capitalism; non-wage employment; class process;

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian


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