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

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Caste and Economic Discrimination: Causes, Consequences and Remedies

This paper provides a theoretical introduction to the study of discrimination with particular reference to the caste system. It sets the stage for the four empirical papers that follow, by highlighting the ways in which caste persists as a system of inequality that burdens the Indian economy with inefficiencies in the allocation of labour and other critical resources, reducing the full development of human capital in society. Far from disappearing as the economy modernises, discrimination remains a problem which, for reasons outlined here, is not amenable to self correction, but rather requires interventionist policies to remedy.

Where the Path Leads

This study attempts to trace the differential pathways that dalit and non-dalit students from comparable elite educational backgrounds traverse in their journey from college to work. While the training they receive in the university world is quite comparable, dalit students lack many advantages that turn out to be crucial in shaping their employment outcomes. Dalit students support the affirmative action policy completely, which allows them to break their traditional marginality. Our findings suggest that social and cultural capital (the overlapping of caste, class, family background and networks) matter a great deal in the urban, highly skilled, formal and allegedly meritocratic private sector jobs, where hiring practices are less transparent than appear at first sight.

In the Name of Globalisation

This paper draws on interview data to analyse the attitudes of employers/hiring managers in India's organised private sector towards the caste and community attributes of their potential employees. We focus on the role ascriptive qualities play in employer perceptions of job candidates, arguing that they persist despite a formal adherence to the importance of merit. Antagonism toward reservations, as a mechanism for promoting employment for scheduled castes, is articulated as a principled commitment to the modern virtues of competition and productivity.

Caste Discrimination in the Indian Urban Labour Market: Evidence from the National Sample Survey

This paper uses National Sample Survey data to examine the wage gap between higher castes and the scheduled castes/tribes in the regular salaried urban labour market. The main conclusions we draw are (a) discrimination causes 15 per cent lower wages for SC/STs as compared to equally qualified others; (b) SC/ST workers are discriminated against both in the public and private sectors, but the discrimination effect is much larger in the private sector; (c) discrimination accounts for a large part of the gross earnings difference between the two social groups in the regular salaried urban labour market, with occupational discrimination - unequal access to jobs - being considerably more important than wage discrimination - unequal pay in the same job; and (d) the endowment difference is larger than the discrimination component.

Banking Sector's Output in National Accounts: Measurement Issues

The revision of the system of national accounts of 1993, due by 2007-08, is expected to bring about several conceptual and computational changes. The impact of such changes on the financial sector's contribution to the gross domestic product seems to be quite significant. These changes are conceptually intricate and their implementation would also be challenging. This paper presents a prospective view of the ensuing changes as debated in international forums. In addition, two key issues, namely, the valuation of GDP of the banking sector at constant prices and the treatment of non-performing loans of banks in national accounts are discussed. The paper also highlights that the adjustment of financial intermediation services, indirectly measured, for the incidence of non-performing loans will have significant effects on the estimated macroeconomic aggregates on financial activities.

Service Producing Manufacturing Units and Their Impact on Sectoral GDP

Manufacturing services are characterised as outsourced parts of a total production process and comprise output of those manufacturing activities that are performed on the physical inputs owned by units other than the units providing the service. According to standard industrial classifications, these are included in manufacturing. Sixty-four per cent of the unregistered manufacturing establishments in India are, in fact, engaged - more often than not solely - in providing manufacturing services. Generally, these activities are treated as "manufacturing" while estimating domestic product or supply side aggregates, but as "services" while estimating expenditure or use side aggregates. This paper presents a profile of the manufacturing services providing segment of the unregistered manufacturing sector and briefly dwells on the ambiguities inherent in the accepted definitions of "manufacturing" activities and "services". It illustrates the implications of the dual treatment in estimating sectoral distribution of domestic product and concludes that distinguishing manufacturing services from other manufacturing activities in the industrial classification might help resolve this issue as well as related problems in a wide range of applications.

India's Growing Services Sector: Database Problems and Issues

The increasing importance of services in the Indian economy prompted the organisation of a seminar, 'Growing Size of the Services Sector in the Indian Economy' , in 2006. After briefly touching on the problems of collecting data relating to the size of the sector, this article introduces the content of the papers that were presented at the seminar and that follow in this issue.

Measurement of GDP of Services Sector in the New Series of National Accounts Statistics

The rising share of the service sector in the gross domestic product marks a structural shift in the Indian economy and brings it closer to a developed economy. In view of its rising importance, an attempt has been made in this paper to present the salient features of changes in the methodology and coverage of this sector in the new series (base 1999-2000) of national accounts statistics.

Calculation of Gross Value Added in the Unorganised Sector

The unorganised segment of the economy has been growing steadily in terms of its contribution to the net domestic product, particularly the part of it that falls in the service sector. Measuring the labour input and gross value added per unit of labour input in the unorganised segment are challenging because of the need to take account of workers with multiple economic activities. This paper suggests a way to more accurately compile these statistics on the basis of the enterprise surveys of the National Sample Survey Organisation.

Precision of Estimates of Gross Value Added Per Worker

Gross value added per worker (GVAPW) in any sector of the economy is an important parameter used in national accounts statistics since its product with the population of the workforce is used to estimate GDP originating in the sector. The author describes the method used for estimating GVAPW in the services sector in the 57th round of the National Sample Survey, and discusses the sampling error of the estimates as well as the probable reasons for large possible error in some sub-sectors.

Measuring Banking Intermediation Services

This paper reviews the methodology for estimating output from banking intermediation services in India. The existing practice is compared with the guidelines provided in the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993. The paper identifies certain unsettled issues and problem areas in measuring banking intermediation services.

A User's Perspective on the Database of Services Sector in Indian Economy

Measuring the contribution of services to the Indian economy is a challenging task because it presents problems not encountered in the primary and secondary sectors. The authors discuss problems found particularly in quantifying the contribution of the banking and software sectors and suggest ways of overcoming these problems.

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