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Globalisation and labour market flexibility: a study of contractual employment in India

Meenakshi Rajeev (Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 9 October 2009




The purpose of this paper is to understand the status of a class of non‐permanent labour in the globalised era in India.


To understand this the paper uses both secondary level information and primary data collected through a survey. Secondary level data are analysed using a panel data model. Here, the hypothesis is: contribution of contract labour to production is greater than that of the regular employees. The primary level survey is conducted to know whether they are exploited due to their non‐permanent stature.


It is observed from secondary data analysis that the hypothesis is not rejected. Contract labour makes a significant contribution to production, while the regular employees do not. Primary survey also shows that they are exploited in many ways including through non‐payment of minimum wages.

Practical implications

The paper indicates that, while regulations are in place, they are abused and hence it is the implementation part on which government needs to focus.


Analysis shows how rationalization of employment does not take place due to labour regulations for the regular employees. It also brings to light through primary survey various lacunae in the implementation of the Contract Labour Act. Since survey of such labour class is difficult there are limited studies in this field.



Rajeev, M. (2009), "Globalisation and labour market flexibility: a study of contractual employment in India", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 168-183.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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