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Precarious work in India: trends and emerging issues

Maiti, Dibyendu S. (2012) Precarious work in India: trends and emerging issues. American Behavioral Scientist, XX (X). pp. 1-24. ISSN 0002-7642

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    Abstract

    Workers in India are becoming increasingly precarious in spite of its significant economic growth during the past two decades. The extent of informalization and casualization, used as proxies for precariousness, can be deduced from government sources and shows that the size of the informal sector not only constitutes almost 90% of the working population but also is growing. While the informal sector is not an accurate measure of precarious work, two specific characteristics of Indian precarious work are highlighted. The first deals with nonregistered establishments, unmaintained accounts, and hiring no more than 10 workers, officially defined as the “informal sector.” Individuals engaged in this sector experience precarious employment. The second group involves workers engaged in the formal sector on short-term contracts. Combined, the size of both types of precarious work has increased sharply in the postreform period beginning in the early 1990s. The supposed rigidity of labor laws is often used to explain the rise in precarious employment. However, the article finds that although the numbers of industrial disputes and wage shares have declined, the use of contract work has increased in the formal sector, and thus the labor market has been conducive to industrial expansion in spite of the absence of substantial labor law reform.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
    Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Economics
    Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
    Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2013 13:11
    Last Modified: 02 Apr 2013 13:11
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/5633
    UNSPECIFIED

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