India started on a program of reforms, both in its external and internal aspects, in the mid-1980s. While the increased exposure to world markets (globalization) and relaxation of domestic controls has undoubtedly given a spurt to the GDP growth rate, the impact of reforms on poverty, inequality and employment have been controversial.
This book examines in detail these aspects of postreform India and discerns the changes and trends that these new developments have created. Providing an original analysis of unit-level data available from the quinquennial National Sample Surveys, the Annual Surveys of Industries and other basic data sources, the authors analyze and compare the results with other pieces of work in the literature. As well as describing the overall situation for India, the book highlights regional differences, and looks at the major industrial sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tertiary/services. Labor market institutions are discussed and the possible adverse effect on employment growth of the regulatory labor framework is examined carefully. Since any reform of this framework must go hand in hand with better state intervention in the informal sector to have any chance of acceptance politically, some of the major initiatives in this area are critically explored.
The book will be of great interest to development economists, labor economists and specialists in South Asian Studies.
Dipak Mazumdar is Senior Research Associate, Munk Centre for International Sudies at the University of Toronto, Canada and Visiting Professor, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi.
Sandip Sarkar is currently working as a Fellow with the Institute for Human Development (IHD), New Delhi, India.