ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Extending the Coverage of Minimum Wages in India: Simulations from Household Data

There is a debate in India about the possible extension of minimum wages to all wage-earners. This study provides some benchmark figures on the effects of either making the national minimum wage floor compulsory or extending the coverage of state-level minimum wages. Using the 2004-05 Employment- Unemployment Survey along with the Consumer Expenditure Survey, it estimates that the extension of minimum wages at existing levels could improve the earnings of 73 to 76 million low-paid salaried and casual workers. It also shows that if an extended minimum wage is perfectly enforced, it would substantially reduce inequality, poverty and the gender pay gap, even if there are some disemployment effects.

Economic Growth, Labour Markets and Gender in Japan

Why did the women's labour force participation rate in Japan not increase with the process of economic development, unlike in other developed nations? What kind of policies and social and cultural barriers hinder the process? What kind of returns of economic growth did women in the labour force receive with economic growth? The flip side of growth in export-oriented Japan was that many of the women lost their jobs as production was relocated abroad. In fact, underwriting Japan's rapid growth and industrial transformation was a labour system based on the oppression of women, the use of temporary workers and subcontracting.

Decent Work Deficits in Informal Economy

This paper illustrates the challenges involved in achieving "decent work", as conceptualised by the International Labour Organisation, in the urban informal economy through measuring decent work deficits among male and female workers in Surat. It assesses and contributes to existing attempts to measure decent work and then examines the prevalence of deficits and inadequate earnings in Surat, disaggregating the analysis by structural insecurities shaping informal work opportunities in India, specifically gender and activity status. The results provide guidance regarding what types of policies are most needed, and for which groups, in order to achieve "decent work for all" in urban India.

Labour Market Deepening in India's IT

The Indian Information Technology (IT) sector has seen significant growth in terms of employment and revenue and is expected to provide quality employment to a large number of workers in the coming years. A more widespread participation of workers with different skill/education profiles, gender, regions, etc, would facilitate deepening of the labour market and eventually reduce costs. This paper hopes to provide a tentative understanding of the processes that have been important for the evolution of the IT labour market in India. It analyses NASSCOM and National Sample Survey (NSS) data to explore the processes that deepen the IT labour market in India. The analysis suggests that deepening is actually taking place, but the pace can probably be enhanced. Transition to the offshore model, growth of the ITES sector, competition and infrastructure-led movement of IT activity to smaller cities, and hiring of workers with diverse education backgrounds and of women workers have facilitated the deepening processes. However these processes need to be intensified.

Unorganised and Organised Manufacturing in India

This paper analyses the impact of economic reforms on the organised and unorganised manufacturing sectors. It also seeks an explanation for the growth trends observed by looking at specific trade and industrial policies. The analysis indicates that economic reform policies had a differential impact on various industry groups. In particular, the growth in the automobile industry and the infrastructure sector helped the growth of the manufacturing industry, especially in the unorganised segment and the generation of quality employment.

Economic Reforms and Productivity Trends in Indian Manufacturing

This paper analyses the trends in growth and efficiency in the utilisation of resources in the Indian manufacturing industry before and after the introduction of economic reforms. It uses a comparative analysis of all-India figures with Gujarat, one of the most industrially developed states of the country. The study shows that both the organised and unorganised sectors in Gujarat seemed to be doing better than the all-India average in terms of growth of value added. Growth in the manufacturing sector in Gujarat was also more efficient than average all-India growth after the reforms were introduced. Gujarat's strategy of physical infrastructure development, leading to industrialisation, has been the main reason for the growth of the state's manufacturing sector.

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