Wages in Developing Countries: Trends and Problems
Mr Walker, opening the discussions, said that it is unfortunately quite clear from all the papers, and particularly from those by Mr Smith and Prof. Berg, that we have very imperfect knowledge, in every respect, about the role of wages in the process of economic development. This is even more true of the underdeveloped countries than of industrialised countries given their less-adequate statistical information. The information is defective in quantity and precision; it is defective in country coverage as well. Mr Smith’s paper gives data for thirty-one countries. This covers a lot of those in which the Symposium is interested, but by no means all the important ones, nor is the coverage within countries ideal. Mr Smith had to rely on manufacturing wages which, as pointed out, correlate fairly well with non-agricultural wages within these countries, but not with agricultural wages. Also Mr Smith’s data relate only to the period 1956 to 1964, and any attempt to lengthen the series cuts down the number of countries so drastically that it is not worthwhile. Mr Walker agreed that, as Prof. Berg points out in his paper, information about the wage structures is particularly inadequate and needs to be increased by much more research.
KeywordsSugar Migration Maize Rubber Income
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