By Samuel Asher
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The paper (written jointly with Rinku Murgai and Sutirtha Sinha Roy) provides new evidence on the micro-geography of job growth in India. Policymakers in India are concerned that there is insufficient new job creation to absorb the millions of people joining the labor force each year, yet there is little evidence on the conditions in which local economies across the country are adding jobs. In this talk use use data from a village- and town-level panel built around four waves of the Economic Census (1990-2013), with a particular focus on the most recent data. We begin by comparing job numbers in the Economic Census to concurrent rounds of the NSS, concluding that while they appear to measure employment differently, the Economic Census is a valuable tool for investigating the spatial factors that help to explain job growth. We document how much of the variation in employment growth is within states and districts, a phenomenon impossible to study without such spatially disaggregated data. This motivates our investigation into the many factors that explain the patterns of job growth across India: state policies, density/urbanisation, natural advantage, and agglomeration economies. We then do a deeper analysis of two particularly important types of employment: female employment and jobs in large firms. We conclude with a discussion of next steps to make the transition from descriptive to causal work.
About the Speaker
Samuel Asher is an economist at the Development Research Group (DECRG) at the World Bank and also an associate of the Center for International Development (Harvard University) and an affiliate at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has previous been at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Sam primarily works with high spatial resolution administrative and remote sensing data to better understand the spatial distribution of economic activity, growth and poverty in developing countries. Heasks questions about the impacts of economic changes and government policies at highly local levels, and examines heterogeneity to a degree that is typically not possible with sample surveys. Dr Asher received his PhD in economics from Harvard University.
This is the hundredth and ninth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Olivier Telle of CSH at email@example.com, Partha Mukhopadhyay at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at email@example.com