Structural Transformation and Absorption of Surplus Labour
Additional contact information
Rizwanul Islam: Former Special Advisor, Employment Sector, International Labour Officer, Geneva.
Bangladesh Development Studies, 2017, vol. 40, issue 3-4, 105-136
The process of economic growth and development involves transformation of the structure of economies that results in a reduction in the share of agriculture and a rise in the share of industries and services in total output as well as employment. Although manufacturing is expected to play the role of the engine of growth and absorption of surplus labour, the experience of developing countries shows that all countries have not been equally successful in this regard. That has led to the search for alternative pathways to the absorption of surplus labour. The present paper addresses this question with particular focus on selected countries of South Asia, viz. Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The analysis is more detailed on Bangladesh, and focuses on whether surplus labour has been exhausted and on how effective the alternative pathways can be. The empirical evidence presented in this paper indicates that it is difficult to utilise the available surplus labour fully and productively without industrialisation. Of course, there are differences in conditions and possibilities even within South Asia. But the limitations of the service sector as an engine of overall economic growth and as a means of absorbing surplus labour seem to be clear. For Bangladesh, data on real wage trends and the persistence of low quality employment show that despite labour market tightening, the economy of the country continues to exhibit signs of the existence of surplus labour.
Keywords: Structural Transformation; Surplus Labour; Economic Growth; Industrialisation; Agriculture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://bids.org.bd/uploads/publication/BDS/40/40- ... Surplus%20Labour.pdf Full text (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ris:badest:0813
Access Statistics for this article
Bangladesh Development Studies is currently edited by Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid
More articles in Bangladesh Development Studies from Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dilruba Mahhuba ().