ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Peter LanjouwSubscribe to Peter Lanjouw

Non-farm Diversification, Inequality and Mobility in Palanpur

Data from seven decades of survey in Palanpur provide insights into the changing nature of the village economy. Starting as a predominantly agrarian economy, Palanpur has seen non-farm employment emerge as a major driver of growth and distribution of income in the village economy, but accompanied by increasing inequality. There is evidence of greater mobility among the disadvantaged in Palanpur alongside falling inter-generational mobility. Preliminary analysis suggests that the nature of non-farm activities has become increasingly casual and informal, thereby more accessible to households at the bottom of the distribution, but still significantly influenced by access to networks and family ties, particularly for the more remunerative and stable non-farm jobs.

Rural Non-Farm Employment in India

In this paper an attempt is made to assess the contribution of the non-farm sector to household income across population quintiles. The correlates of employment in the non-farm sector have also been examined. The study is based on rural data from 32,000 households in 1,765 villages across India, collected by the NCAER in 1993-94. Analysis shows that non-farm incomes account for a significant proportion of household income in rural India, with considerable variation across quintiles and across India's major states. Education, wealth, caste, village level agricultural conditions, population densities and other regional effects influence access to non-farm occupations. The direct contribution of the non-farm sector to poverty reduction is possibly quite muted as the poor lack assets, but it has been found that the growth of certain non-farm sub-sectors is strongly associated with higher agricultural wage rates.
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