Advertisement

Labour Contracts in Rural India: Theories and Evidence

  • Jean P. Drèze
  • Anindita Mukherjee
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)

Abstract

The last few decades have seen a proliferation of theories aiming at a better understanding of rural labour markets in developing countries: from early ‘subsistence theories’ where the determination of wages was regarded as largely ‘exogenous’ to labour market conditions, through the revival of the competitive paradigm, to the more recent and sophisticated models focusing on incomplete information, uncertainty or bargaining situations. Over the same period a large number of microstudies undertaken in Indian villages by social scientists of all disciplines have provided valuable empirical evidence on how rural labour markets actually function in that country. Unfortunately, much of this material has remained insufficiently known to theorists, and its potential in helping to form a judgement about the usefulness of alternative theories is still largely unexploited.

Keywords

Real Wage Labour Contract Daily Wage Efficiency Wage Piece Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agricultural Economics Research Centre (Gwalior) (1964) ‘Dhusawani: Socioeconomic Study of a Tribal Village’.Google Scholar
  2. Agricultural Economics Research Centre (Visva-Bharati) (1974) ‘Economics of Rural Change: a study in East India’, K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta.Google Scholar
  3. Akerlof, G. (1984) ‘Gift exchange and efficiency wage theory: four views’, American Economic Review, vol. 74, no. 2.Google Scholar
  4. Bailey, F. G. (1957) Caste and the Economic Frontier (Manchester University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Bardhan, K. (1977) ‘Rural employment, wages, and labour markets in India: a survey of research’, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 12.Google Scholar
  6. Bardhan, K. (1983) ‘Economic growth, poverty and rural labour markets in India: a survey of research’, Working Paper no. 54, WEP 10–6, ILO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  7. Bardhan, P. K. (1982) Land, Labor and Poverty (New York: Columbia University Press).Google Scholar
  8. Bardhan, P. K. and Rudra, A. (1980) ‘Terms and conditions of share-cropping contracts: an analysis of village survey data in India’. Journal of Development Studies, vol. 16.Google Scholar
  9. Bardhan, P. K. and Rudra, A. (1981) ‘Terms and conditions of labour contracts in agriculture: results of a survey in West Bengal 1979’, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, vol. 43.Google Scholar
  10. Bardhan, P. K. and Rudra, A. (1986) ‘Labour mobility and the boundaries of the village economy’. Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 13, no. 3.Google Scholar
  11. Bell, C. (1986) ‘Credit markets, contracts and interlinked transactions’, mimeo, Vanderbilt University.Google Scholar
  12. Bell, C. and Srinivasan, T. N. (1985) ‘An anatomy of transactions in rural credit markets in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab’, mimeo, World Bank.Google Scholar
  13. Bhaduri, A. (1973) ‘Agricultural backwardness under semi-feudalism’, Eco-nomic Journal, vol. 88.Google Scholar
  14. Binswanger, H. P., Doherty, V. S., Balaramaiah, T., Bende, M. J., Kshirsager, K. G., Rao, V. B. and Raju, P. S. S. (1984) ‘Common features and contrasts in labor relations in the semi-arid tropics of India’, in Binswanger and Rosenzweig (eds) (1984).Google Scholar
  15. Binswanger, H. P. and Rosenzweig, M. R. (eds) 1984 ) Contractual Arrangements, Employment, and Wages in Rural Labor Markets in Asia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  16. Bliss, C. J. and Stern, N. H. (1981) Palanpur: the Economy of an Indian Village (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  17. Breman, J. (1974) Patronage and Exploitation (Berkeley: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  18. Breman, J. (1985) Of Peasants, Migrants and Paupers (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  19. Cain, M. and Mozumder, A. B. M. K. A. (1980) ‘Labour market structure, child employment and reproductive behaviour in rural South Asia’, Working Paper no. 89, WEP 2–21, ILO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  20. Connell, J. (1975) Labour Utilization: An Annotated Bibliography of Village Studies, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex.Google Scholar
  21. Drèze, J. P. and Mukherjee, A. (1987) ‘Rural labour markets in India: theories and evidence’, mimeo, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  22. Epstein, S. (1967) ‘Productive efficiency and customary systems of reward in rural South Asia’, in Firth, R. (ed.) Themes in Economic Anthropology (London: Tavistock).Google Scholar
  23. Freeman, J. M. (1977) ‘Scarcity and Opportunity in an Indian Village’, The Kiste and Ogan Social Change Series in Anthropology, vol. 6, Menlo Park, Cummings.Google Scholar
  24. Gough, K. (1981) Rural Society in South-east India Cambridge Studies in Social Anthropology, no. 38 (Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  25. Government of India (1898) Report of the Indian Famine Commission, 1898 Simla.Google Scholar
  26. Harper, E. B. (1958) ‘Economic Structure of a South Indian Village’, unpublished PhD thesis, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  27. Hatti, N. and Raagaard, S. (1985) ‘Agricultural labourers and small cultivators: a study in Sirsi taluk, Karnataka’, Project Paper A.85. 3, Centre for Development Research, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  28. Hayami, Y. and Kikuchi, M. (1981) Asian Village Economy at the Crossroads (Tokyo and Baltimore: University of Tokyo Press and Johns Hopkins University Press).Google Scholar
  29. Hopper, W. D. (1957) ‘The Economic Organisation of a Village in North Central India’, unpublished PhD thesis, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  30. ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) (1987) ‘Labour’, mimeo, ICRISAT, Hyderabad.Google Scholar
  31. Kandasamy, A. (1964) ‘Study of the Pattern of the Demand for and the Supply of Hired Labour in Agriculture in the lower Bhavni Project Area, Madras State’, unpublished MSc thesis, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Coimbatore.Google Scholar
  32. Khudanpur, G. J. (1967) ‘Entrepreneurial Behavior under Conditions of Scarcity and Famine: case studies of production, marketing and investment decisions of farmers in a Deccan village (India)’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  33. Leaf, M. J. (1984) Song of Hope: the Green Revolution in a Punjab village (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Lewis, O. and Barnouw, V. (1958) Village Life in Northern India. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press).Google Scholar
  35. Lipton, M. (1983) ‘Labor and Poverty’, World Bank Staff Working Paper no. 616, World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  36. Maclachlan, M. D. (1983) ‘Why They Did not Starve’, Institute for the Study of Human Issues, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  37. Madan, G. R. and Madan, T. (1983) Village Development in India: A Sociological Approach (New Delhi: Allied Publishers).Google Scholar
  38. Muqtada, M. and Alan, M. M. (1983) ‘Hired labour and rural labour market in Bangladesh’, ARTEP, ILO, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  39. Nair, K. N., Sivanandan, P. and Retnam, V. C. V. (1984) ‘Education, employment and landholding pattern in a Tamil village’, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 19, nos. 24–25.Google Scholar
  40. Narasinham, V. S. (1959) ‘Agricultural Labour in Southern Talukas of Coimbatore District’, unpublished MLitt thesis submitted to the University of Madras.Google Scholar
  41. Platteau, J.-P., Murickan, J. and Delbar, E. (1985) Technology, Credit and Indebtedness in Marine Fishing (Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation).Google Scholar
  42. Pore, S. H. (undated) Survey of Economic Change in Rural Areas (1956–57): Goregaon, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Poona.Google Scholar
  43. Rahman, H. Z. and Das, S. P. (1982) ‘The rural labour market in Noakhali’, Project Paper A.82. 12, Centre for Development Research, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  44. Ramachandran, V. K. (1986) ‘Socioeconomic Characteristics of Agricultural Labourers in a Vanguard Agrarian Region: A Case Study of Lokilapuram Village, Madurai District’, unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Madras.Google Scholar
  45. Rao, S. V. (1984) ‘Rural labour: case study of a Karnataka village’, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 19, no. 18.Google Scholar
  46. Reddy, C. R. (1985) ‘Rural Labour Market in Varhad: a case study of agricultural labourers in rain-fed agriculture in India’, Rural Employment Policy Research Programme Working Papers, no. 75, WEP, ILO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  47. Rodgers, G. B. (1975) ‘Nutritionally based wage determination in the low-income labour market’, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 27.Google Scholar
  48. Rosen, S. (1985) ‘Implicit Contracts: A Survey’, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 1144–75.Google Scholar
  49. Rudra, A. (1982) ‘Extra-economic Constraints on Agricultural Labour: results of an intensive survey of some villages near Shantiniketan, West Bengal’, Asian Employment Programme Working Paper, ARTEP, ILO, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  50. Ryan, J. G., Ghodake, R. D. and Sarin, R. (1979) ‘Labor use and labor markets in semi-arid tropical villages of peninsular India’, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Socio-Economic Constraints to Development of Semi-Arid Tropical Agriculture, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Hyderabad, India.Google Scholar
  51. Squire, L. (1981) Employment Policy in Developing Countries: a Survey of Issues and Evidence (Oxford University Press, for the World Bank, Washington, DC).Google Scholar
  52. Taslim, M. A. (1985) ‘The empty box of interlocking markets: issues and some empirical evidence’, mimeo, LaTrobe University.Google Scholar
  53. Vyas, V. S. (ed.) (1964) ‘Agricultural Labour in Four Indian Villages’, Studies in Rural Problems, no. 3, Vallabh Vidyanagar AERC, Sardar Patel University, Ahmedabad, India.Google Scholar
  54. Yellen, J. L. (1984) ‘Efficiency wage models of unemployment’, American Economic Review, vol. 74, no. 2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean P. Drèze
    • 1
  • Anindita Mukherjee
    • 2
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK
  2. 2.Indian Statistical InstituteNew DelhiUK

Personalised recommendations