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China–IndiaPathways of Economic and Social Development$
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Delia Davin and Barbara Harriss-White

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265673

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265673.001.0001

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‘Lopsided’, ‘Failed’, or ‘Tortuous’: India’s Problematic Transition and its Implications for Labour

‘Lopsided’, ‘Failed’, or ‘Tortuous’: India’s Problematic Transition and its Implications for Labour

(p.157) 8 ‘Lopsided’, ‘Failed’, or ‘Tortuous’: India’s Problematic Transition and its Implications for Labour

Stuart Corbridge

John Harriss

Craig Jeffrey

British Academy

The structural transformation of the Indian economy is incomplete. While the share of agriculture in GDP has declined sharply, its share of the labour force has not. The agricultural economy is still characterised by extensive small-scale household production, and only a small minority of farming households can produce an income sufficient for family survival. Employment in agriculture has increasingly stagnated and rural non-agricultural employment not expanded as much as might have been hoped. More than 90 per cent of all jobs are ‘informal’ and the absolute numbers of protected ‘formal sector’ jobs declined between 2000 and 2005. There is evidence of the existence of an inverse relationship between output growth and employment growth, and of the effective exclusion of a large share of the labour force from the dynamic, productive sectors of the economy. In these circumstances the Government of India has been introducing major new programmes offering social protection in order to compensate for the failures of the ‘inclusive growth’ promised in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

Keywords:   structural transformation, informal employment, Indian agriculture, Indian labour force, social protection

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