Wage Discrimination in India's Informal Labour Markets: Exploring the Impact of Castes and Gender

Although there has been considerable interest on wage discrimination, available studies largely dealt with formal rather than informal markets that are of little relevance for the poorest. Focusing on of India’s informal labour markets leads to three findings of interest. First, gender wage discrimination is larger in informal than in formal labour markets, resulting in losses that are larger than receipts from one of the country’s most important safety-net programmes. Second, economic growth will not make gender discrimination in wage labour markets disappear. Finally, contrary to what is found for gender, the hypothesis of no significant wage discrimination based on caste cannot be rejected.

Klaus Deininger, Songqing Jin, Hari K. Nagarajan
Mar 2012