ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Factors Affecting Wage Rates for Agricultural Labour

Any increase in irrigation and cropping intensity is likely to raise agricultural wages more in an area with a smaller proportion of the rural labour force dependent on wage employment and/or with higher non-agricultural wage rates than in an area where vast masses of tiny peasants and the landless flood the labour market and the non-agricultural sector is too small to absorb much of it. This may not happen if the farmers in the former area resort to using a lot of labour-saving machinery, or the labourers in the latter organise themselves for group bargaining. If the former is characterised by substantial and widespread underemployment it would dampen or block entirely the rise in the wage rate. Much of the data studied here indicate that irrigation or multiple cropping does generate a positive response not only in the wage income but also in the daily wage rate for agricultural labourers.

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