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

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On Intergenerational Occupational Mobility

This is with reference to the article on intergenerational occupational mobility by Sripad Motiram and Ashish Singh (“How Close Does the Apple Fall to the Tree? Some Evidence from India on Intergenerational Mobility”, EPW, 6 October 2012) in which they comment, “…there are only few studies that have focused on the issue of intergenerational mobility”. It seems that the authors have missed some stray but important works conducted on the topic of intergenerational occupational mobility in the field of economics in India.

In India, the subject of intergenerational occupational mobility was first studied by Sovani and Pradhan in their 1955 paper who focused their analysis on the data gathered in the resurvey of Pune city carried out in 1954 by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (“Occupational Mobility in Poona City between Three Generations”, The Indian Economic Review, Vol 2, No 4). Based on a 4% random sample of families, their study revealed that though 54.3% in their sample registered upward occupational mobility, the overwhelming importance of those who are stable spoke of the essential stability of the occupational structure of Pune. Other studies on occupational mobility were that of Nijhawan and of Jetley, both published in EPW in 1969. Occasionally as one takes up an entirely different issue, there are references to occupational mobility. For example, Hirway in her 1979 paper published in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics speaks about the impact of the green revolution on intergenerational occupational mobility in the Matar taluka of Gujarat. Similarly, Vasishta in his 1990 study published in the journal Social Action, while discussing the profile of “marginalised irregulars” in the informal sector of Ludhiana city, studied intergenerational occupational mobility. This writer worked on the issue of intergenerational and intra-generational occupational mobility in Calicut (now Kozhikode) during 1990-93 and found great immobility between fathers and sons and mothers and daughters in the matter of both intergenerational and intra-generational occupational mobility (Pattern of Intergenerational and Intragenerational Occupational Mobility: A Study of Calicut City, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Mysore, 1993. See also Varma and Rayappa papers published in Manpower Journal and Artha Vijnana in 1999 and 2000, respectively.)

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