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Emerging Consensus on Labour Market Institutions and Implications for Developing Countries: From the Debates in India

Miyamura, Satoshi (2012) 'Emerging Consensus on Labour Market Institutions and Implications for Developing Countries: From the Debates in India.' Forum for Social Economics, 41 (1). pp. 97-123.

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Abstract

This paper makes a critical intervention to on-going theoretical and policy debates in the economic analysis of labour market institutions (LMIs) in the context of recent debates in India. It focuses on the internal inconsistency of mainstream economic analyses of LMIs, in particular those based on the new institutional economics (NIE) approach, and what appears to be an emerging policy consensus on LMIs within the World Bank and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The paper draws out the possible ideological parallels in these two developments, despite different intellectual origins and intentions of those engaged in these debates. A corresponding modification in policy debates in India is observed in the shifting perspectives from the Second National Commission on Labour (SNCL) to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS). The apparent emerging consensus in both the theoretical literature and policy debates reveals the tendency for researchers to focus on labour market outcomes and phenomenal forms of LMIs rather than the structures, processes, agencies and relations that underpin them. While this can be seen as an advancement from the traditional distortionist-institutionalist dichotomy, the tendency of this consensus to explain the persistence of seemingly inefficient institutions within the micro-level choice theoretic framework and its appeal to policy agendas on good governance, social capital, trust and civil society, render it vulnerable to appropriation by the mainstream. The paper argues that the emerging consensus on LMIs is an inadequate framework to inform effective policy propositions, and highlights the scope and opportunity for a political economy alternative.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISSN: 0736-0932
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1007/s12143-011-9099-4
Depositing User: Satoshi Miyamura
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2012 11:16
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13048

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