The Use and Misuse of Economics
Mar 5th 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar

C.P. Chandrasekhar examines how problematic research driven by partisan biases gets academic sanctity through publication in "prestigious" journals - and then is used by policy makers to push anti-worker policies.

The Subversion of MGNREGs
Feb 21st 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik asserts that given the context of the rapid increase in unemployment in the country, MGNREGS could be an effective weapon against such unemployment, because of its high multiplier effects.

The Motivated Murder of India's Statistical System
Jan 31st 2019, Jayati Ghosh

Government's suppression of all the relevant statistics is harming citizens, economy and the government itself.

Here's what Modi's 2019 Budget can - but won't - do about India's Jobs Crisis
Jan 30th 2019, Jayati Ghosh

Constraints imposed by the FRBM Act on fiscal and revenue deficit are just an excuse used by the government to hide its unwillingness to act on urgent and important public issues like employment crisis. In reality, government constantly cheats on the FRBM Act, through increased "off-budget" expenditures, misstatement of receipts, and holding back payments that pushes the debt onto other entities.

Some 'Reservations' on the Modi Government's Reservation for 'Economically Weaker Sections'
Jan 25th 2019, Surajit Mazumdar

The Modi government's move to provide reservation for 'economically weaker sections' is a naked attempt to fortify its electoral prospects by creating an upper caste consolidation. This measure is largely for propaganda purposes and has little benefits to offer to anyone given the Modi government's poor record even on public employment.

The Failed Promise of Employment 
Jan 17th 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar

Attempts by the Modi government to avoid scrutiny on employment generation by suspending or delaying official statistics and trying to use inappropriate and unreliable indicators are bound to fail. Independent assessments point to the dismal job situation in the country.

Contemporary Capitalism and the World of Work 
Dec 4th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Imperialism remains essential to capitalism in all its phases, although its instruments may change from one phase of capitalism to another. When we incorporate imperialism in the Marx's analysis of the dynamics of capitalism, we resolve the puzzle of fall in per capita annual total (both direct and indirect) cereal consumption despite rise in per capita real income. It is because of rise in world poverty along with rise in per capita real incomes.
A Curious Divergence 
Nov 20th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
An inadequately analysed but striking divergence in the services sector's contribution to GDP and employment growth is a pointer to the weaknesses inherent in India's services-led growth model.
Is "Formalisation" Possible? 
Oct 23rd 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The clamour for 'formalising' non-agricultural economic activity assumes that the unorganised sector is an early and backward 'stage' in the organisation of economic activity. In practice the unorganised sector exists because organised employment fails to grow.
Women's work in India
Sep 10th 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The decline in workforce participation by women in India reflects shift from paid to unpaid work. In the absence of basic amenities, a greater proportion of women are engaged in fetching water, collecting fuel for cooking. Once we take into account these unpaid and socially unrecognised activities done by women, it is found that workforce participation of women is greater than men.
Factory Workers in India
Aug 14th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The number of workers in the industrial factory sector in India has grown since 2005-06, but other trends suggest that the bargaining power of such workers remains low.
Changes in the Structure of Employment in India
Aug 14th 2018, Vikas Rawal
An analysis of overall trends in the structure of employment, differentiated between men and women, between rural and urban workers, and across different sectors. With an emphasis on using age-cohort analysis, the dynamics of change in the employment structure are elucidated. The paper looks at changes in the overall size of the labour force and in work participation rates between 1993–94 and 2011–12 and talks about changes in employment structure across different industries as well as impact of improvement in educational attainment on employment conditions of young workers.
Why didn't Socialism have Over-production Crises?
Jul 2nd 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The period after 2008 has witnessed prolonged overproduction crisis which was not seen in the old socialist economies. A market driven capitalist economy that has its foundations on the principle of antagonism is the source of this glut.
Walmart's Gamble and what it means for India
May 29th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
By taking the majority stake in Flipkart, Walmart has committed itself to bearing losses in the medium term in a desperate gamble to thwart Amazon's rise in India. The casualty will be the small retail business sector, which supports a large volume of self-employed and low-paid workers.
The So-called "Consumers' Interest"
May 21st 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The argument in the wake of the Walmart-Flipkart deal, that having large multinationals in the sphere serves consumers' interest not only ignores the plight of local producers but is also analytically unsound. "Consumers" are not an entity distinct from the displaced producers and will get affected adversely over time.
The True Face of the Global Recovery
Apr 11th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Optimistic assessments of the synchronised recovery across the world economy ignore the factors driving the weak upturn that make it fragile.
Technological Change and Impoverishment
Mar 19th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Socio-economic effects of technological change depend upon the property relations within the system they occur. While in socialism higher labour productivity can improve the conditions of workers, in capitalism, the same has lead to growing relative labour reserves, and hence impoverishment.
Indian IT hits a speedbump
Nov 21st 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
A sharp deceleration in growth and restricted employment expansion in the IT sector, India’s post-liberalisation showpiece, has implications beyond the industry’s boundaries.
Strangulating the Informal Economy
Oct 12th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current slowdown in the economy, aggravated by the persistent world economic crisis, has much to do with the twin coercive instruments of demonetisation and GST wielded by the state to strangulate the informal economy in a bid to "formalise" it.
Sanitation workers in India
Sep 9th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The deeply entrenched casteist approach to manual scavenging is part of public policy and explains why the practice continues unabated and why the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in effect relies on it.
China's Labour Market Conundrum
Jul 5th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Has China's labour market reached a point where long years of high growth have led to demand outstripping supply, resulting in a sharp rise in wages?
The GDP Elephant
Jun 6th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely "technocratic" but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark.
Why Workers Lose
May 30th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The IMF's push to delink the decline in the share of labour in national income from the rise of finance, neoliberalism and globalisation leads to a set of banal prescriptions on how to deal with a problem that is at the centre of the crisis of capitalism today.
Recognising Different Skills and their Uses
Sep 14th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Definition of skill with reference of economic activities is more complex, involving different kinds of skills that are not always easily recognised, since purely technical skills seem to get all the attention in the discussion about skill formation.
Care Work as the Work of the Future
Aug 16th 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
As technological change threatens many different kinds of jobs, the significance of direct face-to-face interaction required in much care work means that it is unlikely to be as adversely affected. What does this mean for the future requirements of care workers?
Looking to the US
Jun 9th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In a curious turn of events, the US economy rather than the Asian emerging markets is now expected to lead a global recovery. But the reason and implications are not so clear.
One Year of Modi Government: Social sector
May 27th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Modi government's vast and sweeping cuts in essential social spending will adversely impact the basic conditions of living and affect the prospects of the aspirational youth.
Will the Recent Changes in Labour Laws Usher in 'Acche Din' for the Working Class?
Apr 23rd 2015, Anamitra Roychowdhury
The recent changes in the labour laws are overwhelmingly in favour of the employers and detrimental to the cause of the working class.
Skills Mismatch and All that
Feb 2nd 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The challenge of good quality employment generation requires an approach which sees skill development as part of a broader macroeconomic and development strategy.
Where's the "Missing Middle" in Indian Industry?
Dec 9th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
While the problem of missing middle is taken for granted in the Indian industry, official data reveal that medium sized firms actually dominate in both employment and output.
Recent Changes in Labour Laws: An exploratory note
Nov 12th 2014, Anamitra Roychowdhury
This article explores the possible implications of amending the Contract Labour Act, 1970 and questions the rationale behind amending the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
What Exactly is Work?
Oct 31st 2014, Jayati Ghosh
If the way of recognising and measuring work in India is changed according to the new ICLS definition, the picture of female work participation trend would change remarkably.
Are Women Really Working Less in India?
Aug 21st 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Recent NSS data indicate significant declines in Female work force participation rates with a shift from paid work to unpaid domestic activities for both rural and urban women.
Blaming the "Other"
May 15th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The BJP's aggressive stance on migrants from Bangladesh is economically stupid. Strategies that seek to exploit such divisive attitudes will boomerang on all Indians.
Workers Dying in Qatar
Feb 24th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Recognising the rights of migrant workers in Qatar is obviously crucial; but it is equally important to recognise the rights of workers in India.
A Reality Check on the Labour Market Flexibility Argument in India
Feb 5th 2014, Anamitra Roychowdhury
It is wrong to identify labour laws as the major reason for slow growth in employment, since employment protection laws apply only to a subset of the total organised sector.
Is Social Discrimination in Indian Labour Markets Coming Down?
Feb 4th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Indian labour markets are segmented by gender, caste and other social categories. But recent evidence of the wage gaps suggests some improvement, especially in rural areas.
The Employment Challenge
Jan 22nd 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In recent years, even in those developing countries in Asia where productivity gains have been significant and growth high, increasing employment has been a huge challenge.
The Rural Employment Guarantee under UPA-2
Jan 7th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
After the initial success in enacting the MNREGA, the central government's enthusiasm for its own programme seems to have diminished in its second term.
Where have All the Women Workers Gone?
Nov 14th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
By using recent Indian employment data, the authors examine the evidence on women's work participation in rural and urban areas and consider some possible explanations.
India's Informal Economy
Oct 29th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
India's large informal sector's extreme backwardness makes the quality of growth poor. Existing vague definitions also do not help in understanding its potential.
Do Wage Shares Have to Fall with Globalisation?
Jul 23rd 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
That inequality has been on the rise during the period of globalisation is evident from the declining shares of labour income in GDP in many parts of the world.
The Employment Bottleneck
Jul 9th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The results from the NSSO's uncharacteristic survey carried out in 2011-12 reveal that the retake on employment in a good agricultural year has also not brought all good news.
What Census 2011 Reveals about Our Growers and their Land
Jun 5th 2013, Rahul Goswami
The change in the number of cultivators and agricultural labourers provided by Census 2011 should help us recognise the growing impacts on food security caused by urbanisation.
More Farmers or Fewer?
May 13th 2013, Rahul Goswami
The consequences of western Maharashtra's urbanisation on the food security of the 14 districts that have sent rural workers to that region are yet to be recognised.
Economic Crises and Women’s Work: Exploring progressive strategies in a rapidly changing environment
Mar 11th 2013, Jayati Ghosh

Analysis of women's employment and decent work in the context of the global economic crisis shows that gender sensitive policy responses are more likely to be successful.

Changing Patterns of Domestic Works
Nov 14th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Domestic work is emerging as an important activity for women workers in several developing countries as well as recently in urban India.
The Role of the Small Retailer
Oct 6th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
As evidence suggests, policy of pushing organised retail will result in substantial loss of employment and livelihood contrary to the official claim of employment growth.
FDI in Retail: Benefiting neo-liberalism, harming people
Sep 26th 2012, Subhanil Chowdhury
The decision of the UPA government to open up the retail sector in the country to FDI is an example of the basic fallacy in the 'growth fetishism' of the votaries of neo-liberalism. While the government argues that this move will generate investor confidence in the Indian economy and lead the country to high growth, in reality the problems of the common people - deprivation, poverty and hunger - far from being ameliorated, will actually be intensified.
India's Supermarket Move Shows its Tired Government has Run Out of Ideas
Sep 21st 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Opening up India's retail sector to western supermarkets will lead to exploitation of small producers and adverse employment effects. Despite vehement opposition the government insists on pushing through this reform, a move that speaks of a tired regime which has run out of ideas.
Emerging Dynamics of Global Production Networks and Labour Process: A study from India
Sep 12th 2012, Praveen Jha and Amit Chakraborty

With cheap labour and a strong supply base, India's automobile sector has emerged successful in integrating itself into the global production networks. Using case studies from the National Capital Region, this paper seeks to study the nature of changes in the organisation of production and work in the automobile sector - both intra-firm and inter-firm - and their impact on the changing labour processes and issues of managerial control, skill or working conditions. The anatomy of the recent waves of labour unrest there has been studied to investigate its relation with changing labour processes, and to understand the new regime of accumulation from a political economy perspective in terms of the dynamic interaction of capital's strategy, technology and the agency of labour.

Labour Market Regulations and Economic Outcomes: Some capital lessons and minor messages

Aug 8th 2012, Praveen Jha, Sakti Golder and Swayamsiddha Panda
This paper provides a survey of the empirical evidence on the relationship between labour market institutions and economic outcomes. Survey of major cross-country empirical constructs that examine linkages between labour regulations and different aspects of economic performance such as employment, growth, etc., shows that the empirical basis for the advocacy of blanket labour market flexibility is rather weak. The paper also highlights some key empirical findings from the organised manufacturing sector in India and postulates some capital lessons and minor messages that emerge from such an exercise.
Engineering Teaching and Research in IITs and its Impact on India
Jul 5th 2012, Milind Sohoni
The dominant paradigm of research and development (R&D), as it is practised in India's premier engineering institutes, has not only been abstract and lacking in diversity, but has also been too 'international' to incentivise work on our own development problems. Such an inverted incentive structure in the socio-economically important engineering job market has been macroeconomically observable in the faster growth in service sector as compared to manufacturing.
The Queen and her Guards
Jun 13th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The aggrandised celebration that marked the Queen's diamond jubilee was successful in concealing the grim economic realities of the British economy. A disquieting employment situation, discussed in the article, raises concern that it could just be the tip of the iceberg and that a sweatshop scenario that was once regarded as typical of the developing world exists in the UK as well.
ILO Leadership Election Must Not be Another Charade
May 21st 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The ILO is uniquely positioned among the multilateral organisations to play an extremely significant role in forging a global consensus around viable alternative economic trajectories. The election of a developing country candidate as its new Director-General would have important consequences that go beyond symbolism.
The Roaring 2000s
May 11th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The coincidence of the profit and the output booms during the two post-liberalisation booms in India's organised manufacturing sector since the early 1990s suggests that in periods of rising demand, the organised manufacturing sector in India has been a major beneficiary of reform through a rise in mark up. The complaints of the leaders of this sector are therefore not to be taken too seriously.
Multinational Retail Firms in India
Dec 12th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The actual impact of large corporate retail, and especially multinational retail chains, in developing countries clearly shows that many of the claims made by proponents of such corporate retailing - in terms of employment generation or benefits to producers and consumers - are suspect or sometimes completely false.
Retrogression in Retail
Dec 1st 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Permitting FDI in retail trade, wherein a few oligopolistic buyers will come to dominate retail trade, will lead to adverse employment effects and an erosion of the real incomes of small crop producers.
Employment Generation as an Economic Strategy for Uncertain Times
Nov 14th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
This is the acceptance speech made by the author at the award function of the ILO Decent Work Research Prize, 2010. Discussing the growing pressures in the current global scenario, she argues for a shift in macroeconomic strategy towards domestic wage- and employment-led growth as a means to sustainable growth, as well as an end in itself.
The G20 and Employment Outlook
Oct 12th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
A recent ILO document on employment and labour market outlook in G20 countries points towards an economic crisis of major magnitude in most of them. According to the report, the two key challenges for global policy makers at present are to ensure better utilisation of labour resources and better quality jobs.

The Challenge of Ensuring Full Employment in the Twenty-first Century

Oct 12th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The recent economic growth process in India and other parts of the developing world exhibits the inability of even high rates of output growth to generate sufficient opportunities for 'decent work' to meet the needs of the growing labour force. Therefore, there is a clear case for a shift towards wage-led and domestic demand-led growth, particularly in the economies that are large enough to sustain this shift.
Employment Shifts after the Global Crisis
Oct 4th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The stagnation of employment in developed countries and apparent recovery in developing countries after the Great Recession of 2008-09 have renewed perceptions of a global shift in employment to the developing world, particularly in manufacturing activities. This article uses the most recent available ILO data to examine the extent to which such a shift is actually occurring.
Approaching the 12th Plan
Sep 26th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Considering India’s slow growth of employment in the recent period because of our demographic bulge and increasing numbers of educated youth in search of productive employment, the need of the hour is to redesign our growth strategy and use social policy and social expenditure to generate more employment as employment creation is the most important mechanism for achieving inclusive economic growth.
Higher Education: Dealing with higher expectations
Sep 7th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
There has been a significant increase in enrolment in higher education in developing countries (especially Asia) in the past decade. However, this positive change also brings forth certain challenges, the most obvious of which is the challenge of generating enough employment to meet expectations of growing numbers of new graduates.
The Urbanisation Challenge
Aug 10th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Addressing the problems posed by growing ''urbanisation'' is one of the major challenges for India at present. The country faces a potentially deadly combination of growing population in small urban areas with poor or possibly non-existent facilities and inadequate good quality employment generation.
Women's Work in India: Has anything changed?
Aug 9th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
One of the striking features of the latest National Sample Survey round results is the apparent decline in female employment in 2009-10 compared to 2004-05. The other depressing feature that emerges from the survey is that economic growth has still not generated a process of employment diversification for women.
Deciphering Employment Trends
Jul 26th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
One distinctive feature of the labour market in India is the fact that casual work in the construction sector has been the main source of employment during a period when India transited to its much-celebrated high-growth trajectory.
The Latest Employment Trends from the NSSO
Jul 14th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The results of the latest NSSO large survey on employment and unemployment provide crucial evidence on the pattern of inadequate job creation in this phase of high economic growth.
Is the MNREGS Affecting Rural Wages?
Feb 4th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Despite numerous problems with the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Scheme has borne some positive results. Ironically, the moderate success of the Scheme in improving the conditions and bargaining power of rural labour, including that of women workers, has now become another source of its criticism.
Public Works and Wages in Rural India
Jan 11th 2011, C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Data from the 64th Round of the National Sample Survey, which was specifically concerned with migration and employment conditions, allow for an examination of trends in real wages and the impact of the MNREGS on wages and unemployment. In this article, the authors consider the evidence of these effects on the work conditions of rural casual labour, especially women workers.
Migrating for Work
Dec 28th 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The NSSO 64th Round Survey, which was conducted in 2007-08, was concerned specifically with migration. This article examines the broad trends indicated by that survey. It is seen that there are some important changes in the pattern of movement for work, especially with the significant decline in rural male migration rates.
Employment under the New Growth Trajectory
Dec 22nd 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
A comparison of the results of the 55th, 61st and 64th Rounds of the NSS permits an assessment of the trends in employment in India during the years when India transited to an era of high growth. It suggests that some of the optimism generated by the results for 2004-05 may not be warranted.
The Crisis and Employment in Asia
Feb 15th 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Despite scepticism about its sustainability, evidence shows that the crisis of 2008-09 has bottomed out and a recovery is likely, driven by the fiscal stimulus offered by governments across the world. But figures from the ILO indicate that the impact of the stimulus on employment appears uneven, with export dependent economies in Asia too adversely affected.
The Plight of Construction Workers
Aug 5th 2009, Jayati Ghosh
Lakhs of construction workers in Delhi face inadequate safety provisions, poor working arrangements and dire living conditions. But, even as the money collected as cess for meeting the social security needs of these workers lies unutilised, an outlandish proposal has been made to use a part of this money in a way that will effectively subsidise contractors and builders.
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