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  • Author: Surbhi Kesar, Rosa Abraham, Rahul Lahoti, Paaritosh Nath, Amit Basole
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: We analyze findings from a large-scale survey of around 5000 respondents across 12 states of India to study the impact of COVID-19 pandemic containment measures (lockdown) on employment, livelihoods, food security and access to relief measures. We find a massive increase in unemployment, an equally dramatic fall in earnings among informal workers, large increases in food insecurity, depletion of savings and patchy coverage of relief measures. Two-thirds of our respondents lost work. The few informal workers who were still employed during the lockdown experienced more than a fifty percent drop in their earnings. Even among regular wage workers, half received either no salary or reduced salary during the lockdown. Almost eighty percent of surveyed households experienced a reduction in their food intake and a similar percentage of urban households did not have enough money to pay next month's rent. We also use a set of logistic regressions to identify how employment loss and food intake varies with individual and householdlevel characteristics. We find that migrants and urban Muslims are significantly worse off with respect to employment and food security. Among employment categories, self-employed workers were more food secure. The Public Distribution System (PDS) system was seen to have the widest reach among social security measures. However, even under PDS, 16 percent of vulnerable urban households did not have access to government rations. Further, half of the respondents reported not receiving any cash transfers (state or central). We conclude that much more is needed in the way of direct fiscal support that has been announced thus far by state and central governments in India.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Unemployment, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Girish Bahal, Anand Shrivastava
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Controlling for monetary policy, government transfers are potentially inflationary. This, however, may not be true when the economy is demandconstrained. Using a panel data of 17 Indian states over 30 years, we show that government transfers via welfare programs do not lead to inflation. For identification, we use a narrative shock series of transfer spending that is based on the introduction of new welfare programs. We then look at a specific program, NREGA, which has been shown to increase rural wages, and show that its implementation did not increase inflation.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Labor Issues, Monetary Policy, Employment, Inflation, Demand
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Tuhinsubhra Giri, Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Most international development economics and industrial organization literature emphasises the importance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as important to output, but especially to employment generation. Countries have different definitions for SMEs. In India the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) are defined in terms of investment in plant and machinery or equipment. The MSME Ministry (Annual Report, Government of India 2017–18) stated that the sector accounts for 45% of the manufacturing output and 40% of the total exports of the country; also that MSMEs accounted for 30.74% of GDP in 2014– 15. Not surprising, MSMEs are considered a driving force of the economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Manufacturing, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Raavi Aggarwal
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: This article analyses relationships between the implementation of state-level industrial policies in India and manufacturing sector economic performance (employment and gross value added), utilising data from the Annual Survey of Industries conducted by the Government of India. I employ panel data fixed-effects regression models to evaluate the associations between the industrial policy and state-industry specific performance over the 2007-08 to 2014-15 period, incorporating potential effects of the state government's political alignment, infrastructure provision and educational expenditure in the state. The results provide evidence of a positive correlation between industrial policy implementation and firm output and employment, by around 12.6 - 14 per cent. However, subsequent introductions of an industrial policy are negatively associated with employment and are uncorrelated with industrial GVA. This analysis has implications for economic policy in light of the Central Government's plans to implement a revised industrial policy at the national scale.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Employment, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Jajati Parida, Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Falling total employment is an unprecedented trend seen from 2011-12 to 2017-18. Due to a decline of employment in agriculture and manufacturing and slow growth of construction jobs, the process of structural transformation, which had gained momentum post-2004-5, has stalled since 2012. Mounting educated youth unemployment, and lack of quality non-farm jobs have resulted in an increase of the disheartened labour force. Though the share of regular and formal employment increased marginally due to growth of formal jobs in the private sectors, the share of informal jobs within government/public sector increased. A dominant share of jobs is still generated by micro and small units of the unorganized sectors without any formal or written job contract. In both government and private sectors the number of contract jobs (with less than a year’s contract) is on the rise post 2011-12. Not surprisingly, real wages have not increased in either rural or urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues, Employment, Economic growth, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Globally, research has shown that, there is a high correlation between the level of per capita income and the rate of female labour force participation. At the same time the agency and autonomy of women in a country improve with the level of female labour force participation. Sen (2000) has argued that the autonomy and agency of women in a society and their empowerment is enabled by four conditions in their lives. First the higher the education level of women, the more empowered they are likely to feel. Second, if they are working outside the home, they are likely to feel a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Third, they should also have an independent source of income from that of the significant other in their household. Finally, their empowerment can be usually enhanced if they own assets and have access to them. One can see from this analysis that the first three requirements for women’s’ empowerment are related to each other and to some extent co-dependent. We will keep these considerations in mind as we analyse labour markets and how women engaged with them in different parts of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Anand Shrivastava, Rosa Abraham
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: With the lack of official government data on unemployment and other labour market indicators, the most viable and recent source have been the regular household surveys conducted by the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE). Given the differences in methods in data collection, it becomes exceedingly important to establish some comparability between the government and the CMIE datasets. This paper attempts to do that using two methods. First we fit a model of employment status on the CMIE data and see how well it predicts outcomes in the older Labour Bureau 2015-16 and NSS 2011-12 data. Then we compare state-level estimates of broad labour market indicators from CMIE 2016 and Labour Bureau 2015-16 datasets. The broad results are that despite differences in methodologies, the estimates for men are quite comparable between the surveys, while measures of women’s participation in the labour force seem particularly sensitive to the way questions are asked in surveys.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Work Culture, Labor Policies, Participation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra, Sharmistha Sinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: A continuous and sharp decline in the already depressed female labour force participation rate in India post 2005, particularly in the face of its rapid economic growth raises questions about the inclusiveness of the growth process. The paper recommends a set of policies based on the analysis of the nature and trends of female work participation and a brief analysis of the underlying reasons behind such trends. Women are moving out of the low productivity agricultural sector, which necessitates an increase in employment opportunities in the nonagricultural sector, particularly in rural and in semi-urban locations. Improving skills for employability, especially in manufacturing clusters (which is where the jobs are) located close to young girls’ rural homes, would help the females to join the labour force if non-agricultural jobs are growing. To release women from unpaid work in the household to join the paid labour force, it is essential to improve child care facilities and other basic service facilities, which again calls for raising the share of public expenditure in some sectors and specific facilities. For instance, increasing single working women’s housing, making public transport safer, and modifying public programmes to cater to women’s needs can pave the way for more women to engage and remain in the labour force, become active participants in the growth process, and thus achieve greater economic empowerment.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Divya Prakash, Sabina Dewan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Indians are optimistic. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, three out of four Indians believe that, “when children today in India grow up, they will be better off financially than their parents” (Pew Global Attitudes Survey, 2017). Families hinge their hopes on the ability of the next generation to work hard, earn a living, and be a source of financial support. For years now, the nation has done the same, pinning its economic ambitions to a demographic advantage, or youth bulge, that is set to continue only for the next two decades. Unless there are pathways to productive and high-quality employment, the nation’s youth will not be able to deliver on these expectations. How has India’s economy fared on job creation over the past decade? The country had just under 466 million people in the labour force1 in 2015, with a participation rate of 50.3 percent (Labour Bureau, 2015/16). An analysis of Labour Bureau data over a period of four years from 2012 to 2015 shows that on average, 4.75 million people were added to the labour force per year. According to the Labour Bureau’s Employment-Unemployment survey, between 2012 to 2015, the economy generated a total of 9 million jobs, based on Usual Principal Status -- the activity that an individual is engaged in for a major part of the reference year (Labour Bureau, 2011/12 to 2015/16).
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Work Culture, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Amay Narayan, Amit Basole
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Despite its weak performance in terms of job creation in recent years, the organised manufacture sector remains vital to employment policy. This paper investigates the aggregate trends in this sector, in employment, output, labour-capital ratio, as well as wage share and wage rates at the three-digit NIC level over a long period from 1983 to 2016 using the Annual Survey of Industries data. We show that three distinct sub-periods can be identified within the overall period. Further, using shift-share decomposition we show that most of the decline in the L/K ratio can be explained by within industry changes. Finally, we analyse industries with respect to their capacity to deliver job growth as well as wage growth.
  • Topic: Economics, Employment, Economic growth, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: India