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Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016
The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught o ... read on »
Debate: The Aadhaar Bill
Posted on: 02 May 2016
In a debate on the Aadhaar Bill, commentators from academia and civil society will ... read on »

Tag: wages

Assessing the effectiveness of active labour market programmes in developing countries
David Mckenzie
Posted on: 14 Aug 2017
Topics:   Jobs


Job growth is a key policy concern across developing countries and there are been an increased interest in the role of active labour market programmes that provide vocational training to job-seekers, wage subsidies to employers, or search and matching assistance. In this article, David Mckenzie critically evaluates recent studies on these programmes, and finds that the effect on employment and wages is limited.
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How the American dream led to India’s IT boom
Gaurav Khanna , Nicolas Morales
Posted on: 29 May 2017

In the context of the ongoing global debate on migration policies, this column shows that the H-1B visa programme of the US had a powerful impact on the US IT sector, and played a prominent role in spreading the boom to India.
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Why is labour mobility in India so low?
Kaivan Munshi , Mark Rosenzweig
Posted on: 04 Jul 2016
Topics:   Jobs


Rural-to-urban migration is surprisingly low in India, compared with other large developing countries, leaving higher paying job opportunities unexploited. This column shows that well-functioning rural insurance networks are partly responsible, as they incentivise adult males to remain in villages. Policies that provide private credit to wealthy households or government safety nets to poor households would encourage greater labour mobility, but could have unintended distributional consequences.
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Women and the Indian job market: Glass ceiling or sticky floor?
Ashwini Deshpande , Deepti Goel , Shantanu Khanna
Posted on: 10 Jun 2016
Topics:   Gender , Jobs


The gender wage gap among regular wage and salaried workers in India was 49% in 2009-10. This column finds the bulk of the gap is due to discrimination against women in the job market, rather than different wage earning potential of men and women. The gender wage gaps are higher among lower earning workers.
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MNREGA’s impact on rural labour markets
Laura Zimmermann
Posted on: 14 Mar 2016
Tags:   MNREGA , wages


In this article, Laura Zimmermann, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia, provides an overview of the research on the impact of the initial phase of MNREGA on rural labour markets in India. The evidence suggests that the programme has served as an important short- and long-term safety net, and has had some employment generation effects during the agricultural off-season. However, the effect on rural casual wages is less clear.

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Introduction to e-Symposium: 10 years of MNREGA and the way forward
Farzana Afridi
Posted on: 14 Mar 2016

India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – the largest public works programme in the world – completed a decade in February 2016. As a contribution to the discussions, I4I Editor Farzana Afridi is hosting an e-symposium to summarise the existing evidence on various aspects of the programme, and to discuss the future of the programme.

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Transforming landholding agricultural workers into farmers
Ravi Kumar
Posted on: 07 Jan 2015

Some believe that MNREGA has negatively impacted agriculture by reducing the supply of labour available for farm work. This column refutes this view and argues that MNREGA has enabled agricultural workers with small and marginal landholdings to move up the social and occupational ladder – from wage workers to farmers - by complementing their farm income and providing for start-up investments in agriculture.
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Impact of MNREGA on labour markets
Clément Imbert , John Papp
Posted on: 22 Dec 2014

There is an active, ongoing debate on whether MNREGA should be retained in its current form. This column reports on research which suggests that MNREGA increased rural and urban wages and reduced seasonal rural-to-urban migration. It argues that the effect of MNREGA on labour markets should play a role in the discussion on whether and how to reform the scheme.
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The ‘urban sprawl’ and declining rural-urban inequality
Viktoria Hnatkovska , Amartya Lahiri
Posted on: 29 Sep 2014

India has experienced rapid urbanisation in the past three decades. Has urbanisation impacted the economic wellbeing of rural and urban workers? This column finds that the rural-urban wage gap has shrunk dramatically over this period. This is largely explained by the process of ‘urban sprawl’, which involves assimilation of rural areas into adjoining urban areas, and the resulting relative increase in urban labour supply.
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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: is it working?
Participants: Jean Drèze , Ashwini Kulkarni , Neelakshi Mann , Varad Pande , Martin Ravallion
Posted on: 29 Nov 2012

MNREGA is one of the government´s largest flagship schemes, and is the largest job creation programme of its kind in the world. Supporters believe that it is necessary to help rural workers smooth income in times of distress and increase labour market access for marginalised groups, whereas critics argue that it is taking labour from the troubled agricultural sector and doing more harm than good. What does the evidence really tell us - is MNREGA working or would resources be better spent elsewhere?
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