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Dynamics of Rural Labour Markets: Evidence from Longitudinal Panel Data in India
The Journal of income and wealth (2013)
  • A Amarender Reddy
Given the slow structural transformation of employment in rural areas in India, this paper tries to probe into the structural transformation in semi-arid tropics of India, by using high frequency longitudinal panel data from 1975 to 2010. The results show that, up to early 1980s, structural transformation was very slow and most of the workers dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Most of the workers are spent more days in self-employment in agriculture with very few days in paid work. Both men and women have more leisure time during the 1970s compared to early 2000s. However, from 2001 onwards, there has been an increase in non-farm employment opportunities in both self-employment and also paid work mostly for rural male, but most of the rural women remained in farm sector. Results also shows that even though education improves chances of getting higher remunerative employment, still rural labour markets are segmented based on social groups tosome extent. The high unemployment among educated youth indicates that the skills acquired by the educational system are not meeting the needs of the rural economy. However, many parents are investing heavily in children’s education with the expectation of getting higher paid urban jobs. Over the period, gender and caste differences in wage rates decreased slightly, but are not eliminated wholly. Men work days are more than women work days per year, however If we take domestic work into consideration women work more days than men. Attached labourer are almost eliminated with the implementation of bonded labour abolition act and most of them shifted to different occupations including cultivation or casual agricultural labourer or took up petty businesses. There is significant increase in farm mechanisation in recent years due to scarcity of labour and higher wage rates. The results also show that the real wage rates started increasing much before the introduction of a major employment guarantee program (MGNREGA) and mostly driven by increased non-farm employment opportunities, rural-urban linkages, migration and increased agricultural productivity.
  • rural labour markets,
  • longitudinal data
Publication Date
Spring December 31, 2013
Citation Information
A Amarender Reddy. "Dynamics of Rural Labour Markets: Evidence from Longitudinal Panel Data in India" The Journal of income and wealth Vol. 35 Iss. 2 (2013)
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