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The Domain of Rural Labour Markets-Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1981-82

Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1981-82 Pranab Bardhan Ashok Rudra The boundaries of the village labour market in an agrarian economy are often rather narrowly delimited and heavily dependent on social and territorial affinities. Even where there is a fairly rigorous market for agricultural labour, particularly for seasonal operations, the operation of this market sometimes does not extend very strongly beyond the cor\fines of the village or beyond some local neighbourhoods. This paper reports the results of a survey of five clusters of neighbouring villages carried out in West Bengal in 1981-82. The authors find some significant, though varying, evidence of territorial segmentation of the rural labour market and of limited labour mobility even within adjacent territories.

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