The Impact of Macroeconomic Change on Employment in the Retail Sector in India: Policy Implications for Growth, Sectoral Change and Employment

May 15th 2008, Jayati Ghosh, Amitayu Sengupta & Anamitra Roychoudhury

This study is concerned with the employment situation in India's retail sector. High economic growth in India has not produced satisfactory outcomes of job growth, both in terms of quantity and quality. Concern has arisen that many of the working poor engaged in small-scale retailing and street vending are crowded by entries of large-scale domestic as well as foreign retailers. Share of workers' income in manufacturing has also seen a decline, despite labour productivity growth, during the last decade. This paper argues that economic policy in India needs to be made more inclusive and equitable. The only sure way of doing so would be making it more pro-job and pro-poor, through examining employment implications of macro policies that accompany economic liberalization.

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