ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Balwant Singh MehtaSubscribe to RSS - Balwant Singh Mehta

Inequality in India–II

To determine the inequality in wage earnings, attention is paid to the distinction between formal and informal types of employment, and the returns to education. Alternative definitions to understand the formal–informal dichotomy are employed to show that employers are increasingly using “informal” workers in formal enterprises. In Part I of this paper (EPW, 29 July 2017), changes in household welfare as measured by per capita household expenditure were analysed.

Inequality in India–I

Examining the course of inequality in terms of average per capita expenditure, it is seen that the period after the reforms were initiated registered a dramatic increase in the relative growth of welfare in the top expenditure group, even as the poorest group progressed at a rate higher than the mean. The dip in the middle of the distribution disappeared later when a “ladder” pattern of growth was observed, with each quintile group showing a higher growth rate than the preceding one. The major reasons for this changing pattern are discussed in terms of the structure of growth in the Indian economy, particularly what happened in the tertiary and manufacturing sectors. The paper is being published in two parts. Part II will appear in the issue of 12 August.

Performance of Mobile Phone Sector in India

The mobile phone sector in India was stagnant for a few years because of an uncertain policy and regulatory environment. There was a reduction in the net addition to subscribers, an increase in the urban–rural divide, hyper-competition, and inefficient use of spectrum, which meant poor services, low investment, high debt, and a fall in revenue and profit. However, the sector’s performance has been improving after the announcement of the new telecom policy in 2012 and other regulatory changes.

Inequality, Gender, and Socio-religious Groups

Being of the female gender could mean a little less inequality in the Indian labour market now than belonging to a marginalised socio-religious group, observes this paper. It shows that more women are now in high-paid jobs, while groups such as Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Muslims are still engaged in menial low-paid jobs. Over the years, there has been a decline in gender inequality and a rise in socio-religious inequality. A decomposition analysis reveals that education and type of employment contribute most to income inequality.

Income Inequality in India: Pre- and Post-Reform Periods

India witnessed a widening of income inequality during the phase of acceleration in economic growth in the post-reform period (1993-94 to 2004-05). This paper analyses the issue by using different types of inequality measurements like general entropy indices, kernel density graphs, percentile of income graphs and field decomposition. It finds two major features of a rising inequality in urban areas: (a) even with a doubling of per capita consumption growth in the post-reform decade, the decline in poverty was less by a quarter compared to the pre-reform decade, and (b) in the post-reform period, the growth of the wage rate of regular workers was negative up to the 50th percentile of wage earnings, and beyond that point, wage rate growth turned positive and rose sharply to reach 5% per annum in highest quintile of wage earnings.
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