Advertisement

The Indian Journal of Labour Economics

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 413–430 | Cite as

Push and (or) Pull? Drivers of Labour Force Participation in Indian Agriculture

  • Amit KunduEmail author
  • Sangita Das
Article
  • 8 Downloads

Abstract

Labour force participation rate in the Indian agricultural sector is gradually declining. This paper wants to investigate the possible causes behind it. Here both possible push and pool factors behind this decline are considered simultaneously. Initially, on the basis of 70th round NSSO data on agricultural households, it is tested whether or not marginal farmers are enjoying comparative advantage during the time of getting employment in the agricultural sector as agricultural labourer. But as ‘decline’ is a flow concept, to investigate possible reasons behind this decline, we have considered six rounds state-level NSSO data on Employment Unemployment Survey of India and its 20 major states. Applying fixed effect panel data regression technique after considering state-specific possible factors, it is found that gradual decline of per capita land holdings is the major push factor responsible for gradual decline of labour force participation rate in Indian agriculture. Apart from that, other push factors like hike of real agricultural wage rate, improvement in education level of the agricultural households and pull factor like hike of non-farm real wage, employment opportunities in construction and other non-farm activities are found significant for gradual decline of labour force participation rate in Indian agriculture.

Keywords

Agricultural labourers Pull factors Push factors Panel data analysis 

JEL Classification

C23 J43 J82 

Notes

Funding

No external funding is used in this research work.

References

  1. Alvarez-Cuadrado, F., and M. Poschke. 2011. Structural change out of agriculture: Labor push versus labor pull. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 3(3): 127–158.Google Scholar
  2. Baland, J.M., and D. Ray. 1991. Why does asset inequality affect unemployment? A study of the demand composition problem. Journal of Development Economics 35(1): 69–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrett, C.B., and P.A. Dorosh. 1996. Farmers’ welfare and changing food prices: Nonparametric evidence from rice in Madagascar. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 78(3): 656–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Census. 2011. Census of India, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. www.censusindia.gov.in.
  5. Dasgupta, P., and D. Ray. 1986. Inequality as a determinant of malnutrition and unemployment: Theory. The Economic Journal 96(384): 1011–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dasgupta, P., and D. Ray. 1987. Inequality as a determinant of malnutrition and unemployment: Policy. The Economic Journal 97(385): 177–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huffman, W.E. 1980. Farm and off-farm work decisions: The role of human capital. The Review of Economics and Statistics 62: 14–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jha, B. 2006. Rural non-farm employment in India: Macro-trends, micro-evidences and policy options. Research paper, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  9. Jolliffe, D. 2004. The impact of education in rural Ghana: Examining household labor allocation and returns on and off the farm. Journal of Development Economics 73(1): 287–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Krishnaji, N. 1971. Wages of agricultural labour. Economic and Political Weekly 6: A148–A151.Google Scholar
  11. Kundu, A. 2006. Wage-employment relationship in the agricultural labour market of West Bengal. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics 49(4): 853–866.Google Scholar
  12. Micevska, M., and D.B. Rahut. 2008. Rural nonfarm employment and incomes in the Himalayas. Economic Development and Cultural Change 57(1): 163–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moene, K.O. 1992. Poverty and landownership. The American Economic Review 82: 52–64.Google Scholar
  14. Narayanamoorthy, A., and S.S. Kalamkar. 2006. Has agrarian crisis made any impact on agricultural wages and employment in India? An exploratory study. Indian Journal of Labour Economics 49(4): 787–798.Google Scholar
  15. NSSO. 1997. Employment and unemployment in India, 199394, NSS 50th Round (Report No. 409). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  16. NSSO. 2000. Employment and unemployment in India, 19992000, NSS 55th Round (Report No. 455). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  17. NSSO. 2006. Employment and unemployment in India, 200405, NSS 61st Round (Report No. 515, Parts I & II). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  18. NSSO. 2011. Employment and unemployment in India, 200910. NSS 66th Round—Key Indicators of employment–unemployment in India 2009–2010 (Report No. 537). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  19. NSSO. 2013. Situation assessment survey of agricultural households, 70th round (January–December, 2013), National Sample Survey Organisation, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  20. NSSO. 2014. Employment and unemployment in India, 20112012, NSS 68th Round—Key indicators of employment–unemployment in India, 2011–2012 (Report No. 554). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  21. Ray, D. 1998. Development economics. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Reardon, T., J. Berdegué, and G. Escobar. 2001. Rural nonfarm employment and incomes in Latin America: Overview and policy implications. World Development 29(3): 395–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sheikh, K.H., and Z. Iqbal. 1988. Determinants of the declining share of agricultural labour force to total labour force in Pakistan. The Pakistan Development Review 27(4): 561–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sujith Kumar, P.S. 2007. Livelihood diversification: A case study in rural Tamil Nadu. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics 50(4): 715–722.Google Scholar
  25. Tao Yang, D. 1997. Education and off-farm work. Economic Development and Cultural Change 45(3): 613–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Unni, J. 1988. “Agricultural labourers in rural labour households”, 1956–57 to 1977–78: Changes in employment, wages and incomes. Economic and Political Weekly 23: A59–A68.Google Scholar
  27. Wage Rates in Rural India. 2011–2012. Government of India, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Labour Bureau.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society of Labour Economics 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations