• Informalization;
  • Industrial labor;
  • Labor reforms;
  • Import competition
  • J23;
  • J24

Since the 1980s, industrial labor in India has been increasingly informalized, manifested in a rising share of unorganized sector employment and the growing use of temporary and contract workers, and subcontracting in organized manufacturing. Using unit-level data from the National Sample Survey employment–unemployment survey for 2004–5, the paper investigates econometrically whether labor market rigidities and import competition have been responsible for the informalization of industrial labor in India. The results of econometric models show that labor market reforms tend to increase the creation of regular jobs, while import competition tends to raise casual employment among workers with education levels above primary.