Globalization is primarily about the steady growth of ecomic liberalization around the world, and the drift to a market society in which privatization and commercialization of social policies have followed the process in ecomic sectors. One of the apparent consequences is a remarkable growth of various forms of ecomic inequality and insecurity. This book considers a wide range of ecomic explanations for the increasing wage gap in a globalizing India, with a focus on how workers and small enterprises in India fare when faced with the processes of globalization and liberalization. While most discussions on globalization stop with the impact of the opening up of the ecomy on large enterprises and workers in them, here the authors try to tell the story of what happens to workers and enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid. Key questions raised about the experience of Indian development since the onset of ecomic reforms in 1991 include the limitation of the tion of the informal sector: while there has been a growth in labor informalization and production in small-scale units, much of the informal labor is in or around large-scale producers. As a result, India has actually created a highly flexible labor system. Second, the issue of outsourcing of jobs which has excited comment around the world: while there is an international re-division of labor taking place, the general equilibrium dynamics of this process defy easy description. Third, the limitations in the conventional analysis of the links between educational skills and ecomic performance: while the commercialization of education is a matter of serious concern, it is t necessarily correct to presume that formal schooling is an adequate proxy for the possession of skills in workers.
Jeemol Unni is professor of economics at the Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India. Her recent books are Informal Economy Centrestage: New Structures of Employment (2003), co-edited with Renana Jhabvala and Ratna M. Sudarshan, and Sustainable Development and Social Security: Role of the Non-Farm Sector (2000). Uma Rani holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Hyderabad. She specializes in labor and institutional economics, and has recently joined the International Institute of Labour Studies, ILO, Geneva as a researcher.