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Accounting for Wage Inequality in India

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  • Puja Vasudeva Dutta

    () (National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi)

Abstract

This paper investigates the evolution and structure of wage inequality among adult male workers engaged in regular and casual wage employment in India during a period of radical economic change. The analysis exploits data from nationally representative employment surveys and uses decomposition techniques to examine the role played by educational achievement and industry affiliation. This paper finds that there are striking differences for the two groups of workers. Wage inequality rose between 1983 and 1999 among regular workers but fell among casual workers. While human capital (as embodied in age and education) is one of the major factors explaining both the level of and change in regular wage inequality, geographic location is the key determinant of casual wage inequality. Industry affiliation plays an equally important role for both sets of workers. These are also consistently the most important contributors to changes in inequality though the directional effects differ among the different sets of workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2005. "Accounting for Wage Inequality in India," PRUS Working Papers 29, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:pru:wpaper:29
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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/PRU/wps/wp29.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Sahoo, Amarendra & ten Raa, Thijs, 2012. "Wage–productivity differentials and Indian economic efficiency," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 341-348.
    2. Azam, Mehtabul, 2012. "Changes in Wage Structure in Urban India, 1983–2004: A Quantile Regression Decomposition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1135-1150.
    3. Chris Sakellariou, 2012. "Unconditional quantile regressions, wage growth and inequality in the Philippines, 2001--2006: the contribution of covariates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3815-3830, October.
    4. repec:kqi:journl:2018-2-1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Shantanu Khanna & Deepti Goel & René Morissette, 2016. "Decomposition analysis of earnings inequality in rural India: 2004–2012," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.
    6. Rubiana Chamarbagwala & Gunjan Sharma, 2008. "Industrial Deregulation, Skill Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in India," Caepr Working Papers 2008-002, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    7. Sonja Fagernäs, 2006. "How do family ties, boards and regulation affect pay at the top? Evidence for Indian CEOs," Working Papers wp335, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    8. Mukherjee, Dipa, 2007. "A Decade of Economics Reforms: Whither Employment?," MPRA Paper 12753, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2008.
    9. Harris, Richard G. & Robertson, Peter E., 2013. "Trade, wages and skill accumulation in the emerging giants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 407-421.
    10. Ojha, Vijay P. & Pradhan, Basanta K. & Ghosh, Joydeep, 2013. "Growth, inequality and innovation: A CGE analysis of India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 909-927.
    11. repec:spr:ijlaec:v:60:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s41027-018-0110-y is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:lpe:efijnl:201802 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Azam Mehtabul, 2010. "India's Increasing Skill Premium: Role of Demand and Supply," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-28, October.
    14. Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2006. "Returns to Education: New Evidence for India, 1983-1999," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 431-451.
    15. Chamarbagwala, Rubiana & Sharma, Gunjan, 2011. "Industrial de-licensing, trade liberalization, and skill upgrading in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 314-336, November.
    16. Goel, Manisha, 2017. "Inequality Between and Within Skill Groups: The Curious Case of India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 153-176.
    17. Pieters, Janneke, 2010. "Growth and Inequality in India: Analysis of an Extended Social Accounting Matrix," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 270-281, March.
    18. Sahoo, A., 2008. "Essays on the Indian economy : Competitive pressure, productivity and performance," Other publications TiSEM 374e9035-815c-43fe-a68e-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    19. Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 2006. "Partially awakened giants : uneven growth in China and India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4069, The World Bank.
    20. L. Alan Winters & Shahid Yusuf, 2007. "Dancing with the Giants: China, India, and the Global Economy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6632, December.
    21. Saccone Donatella, 2011. "Potenze economiche emergenti: Cina e India a confronto.Istruzione e diseguaglianze," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201113, University of Turin.
    22. Amit Basole & Deepankar Basu, 2015. "Non-Food Expenditures and Consumption Inequality in India," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2015-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    23. Chris SAKELLARIOU, 2009. "Changing Wage Distributions and the Evolution of Wage Inequality in Indonesia:1994 – 2007," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 0906, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    India; wage inequality; inequality decomposition; segmented labour market;

    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

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