Data for Development
May 2019
W elcome to the India Human Development Survey Forum

A monthly update of socio-economic developments in India by the
IHDS research community

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In this issue...

The India Human Development Survey (IHDS) continues to engage and inspire researchers throughout the world because of the vast array of data it offers through its spectrum of education, health, economy, family, and gender modules for both urban and rural samples across the country. In this edition, the IHDS newsletter focuses on two crucial issues that define and determine the socio-economic index of any nation—the importance of taking job quality into account along with the quantity of jobs; and the level of both deprivation and well-being experienced by households with children. 

  • The first paper highlights the need for examining the quality of jobs along with the quantity, especially in a job market characterised by a high degree of informality and under-employment. Using results from other studies based on both waves of IHDS data, the authors examine economic and occupational mobility, with the intention to stimulate a discussion on job quality and how it is critically influenced by economic mobility.   

  • In the second paper, the authors use IHDS 2011-12 data to identify multiple deprivations in households with children. They find an inverse relationship between mother’s education and deprivation, and also find a higher level of deprivation among households engaged in wage labour as well as among female headed households. 

  • Media Mentions

  • Recent publications using IHDS
Research Findings Based on IHDS Data

  The Evolving Discourse on Job Quality From Normative Frameworks to Measurement Indicators: The Indian Example

Sabina Dewan and Divya Prakash
In a heterogeneous labour market like India’s that is marked by high levels of informality, employment and unemployment are insufficient indicators of the health of the job market. A large proportion of the labour force is underemployed; that is, the sharing of low-productivity work for low wages is commonplace. This underscores the importance of examining job quality in addition to the quantity of jobs. But what defines a good quality job? This paper presents an overview of how the international discourse on job quality has evolved over the years and the varied attempts at delineating indicators to measure job quality. The missing ingredient in the discourse on job quality has been economic mobility. Using results based on India Human Development Survey (IHDS) fielded in 2004-05 and in 2011-12 to examine economic and occupational mobility they find that income mobility improved nationally as well as across Indian states during this period, but progress was unequal. The authors also find that intergenerational occupational mobility declined for those who were employed in the low productivity agricultural sector. This analysis is intended to spur a discussion on the importance of job quality, and on economic mobility, as a critical component of job quality.
Sabina Dewan is Founder and Executive Director of the JustJobs Network. She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in India, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Before this, Ms. Dewan served as a Senior Fellow and Director for International Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C.

Ms. Dewan’s research focuses on strategies for job creation and workforce development. She works closely with governments, businesses, multilateral and grassroots organisations providing critical labour market insights to improve interventions aimed at generating employment, cultivating employability and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Ms. Dewan’s vast experience includes working with institutions including the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation, and the European Commission, as well as grassroots organisations in Sierra Leone, India, and Western Samoa.

Divya Prakash is a Research Associate with the JustJobs Network (JJN). Since he joined the organisation in 2017, his key responsibilities include collecting, cleaning and analysing data and providing research support for a range of projects related to labour economics. Divya has contributed to several projects ranging from how integration into value chains affects employment and working conditions in Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, to helping construct a JustJobs Index measuring the quantity and quality of work in Indian States. 

Prior to joining JJN, Divya worked as a Research Assistant in Research and Information System for Developing Countries. He also worked as a Research Assistant in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and as an Associate Data Specialist in IHS-Markit, India.

Divya has a post-graduate degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Delhi.
Sunil Kumar Mishra and Ashima Gupta

In this paper the authors have tried to identify the deprivation of households with and without children by using a multiple deprivation index. Using data from the India Human Development survey (IHDS), 2011-12, the paper studies both household- and individual-level dimensions such as shelter, sanitation, water, education, food, health and information. The authors find that multiple deprivations among households with children in India are strikingly high, with wide variations in terms of areas (rural/urban), socio-religious groups, income/occupation categories, and mother’s education. The study shows an inverse relationship between mother’s education and multiple deprivations, and finds that about 80 per cent of the total households suffer from one or more deprivations. The analysis clearly shows higher deprivation among wage labour households as compared to those with other occupations, and among female-headed households. Studies show that some proactive measures help in lifting households with children out of deprivation. Household deprivation also declines if the household is a public distribution system (PDS) beneficiary versus a non-beneficiary. Similarly, studies show less likelihood of a child getting involved in child labour if a poor household participated in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). 

Sunil Kumar Mishra is an economist by profession, and presently working as a Fellow at the Institute for Human Development. He was earlier an ICSSR Research Fellow at G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad. His areas of interest include livelihoods, food security, child deprivation, and tribal studies. He has published two books and 20 papers in refereed national and international journals. He specialises in in qualitative and quantitative research and has managed several research, evaluation and assessment projects across major sectors and geographies. He is presently the project director of the ‘National Level Monitor’ for evaluation of government programmes sponsored by the Union Ministries of Rural Development, and of Panchayati Raj. 
Ashima Gupta is an independent researcher based in New Delhi. She completed her Doctorate in Economics from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, on the study of children facing various forms of deprivation. She also has an MPhil in Economics from International Centre for Distance Education and Open Learning, Himachal Pradesh University, and a B.Ed from the Central Institute of Education, Delhi. Her main areas of interest include children and related Issues like deprivation, malnutrition, child labour, and child trafficking.
IHDS in the News

  • Gaiha, Raghav and Vani S. Kulkarni. “NYAY is an important first step toward social justice.” Hindustan Times, 10 May 2019. Link.

  • Shrinivasan, Rukmini “An upper hand: A look at the incomes of India's upper castes.” The Economic Times, 13 May 2019. Link.

Recent Publications Using IHDS

  • Vikram, Kriti and Reeve Vanneman. 2019. “Maternal Education and the Multidimensionality of Child Health Outcomes in India.” Accessed on May 25, 2019. Link.

  • Borooah, Vani Kant. 2019. “Caste, Gender, and Occupational Outcomes.” Accessed on May 24, 2019. Link.

  • Borooah, Vani Kant. 2019. “Job Contracts.” Accessed on May 24, 2019. Link.

  • Soni, Apurv. “Trends, Predictors, and Consequences of Child Undernutrition in India.” Accessed on May 21, 2019. Link.

  • Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. 2019. “Disease, Human Health, and Regional Growth and Development in Asia.” Accessed on May 16, 2019. Link.

  • Gupta, Ashima and Sunil Kumar Mishra. 2019. “Understanding Deprivation and Well-being of Households with Children.” Accessed on May 13, 2019. Link.

  • Maji, Poushali. 2019. “Access to Modern Energy, Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Inter-linking Three Major Energy Challenges Facing India Today.” Accessed on May 8, 2019. Link.

  • Karnik, Harshada. 2019. “Does Bank Account Ownership Enhance the Resiliency of Low-income Households against Health Shocks?” Accessed on May 7, 2019. Link.

  • Dang, Archana, Pushkar Maitra, and Nidhiya Menon. 2019. Ch. 3 "The Geography of Excess Weight in Urban India: regional Patterns and Labour Market and Dietary Correlates." in Disease, Human Health, and Regional Growth and Development in Asia." Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Yoshiro Higano and Peter Nijkamp (Eds.) Springer Nature Singapore Pte. Ltd. Accessed 5/25/19. Link.
About IHDS
The India Human Development Survey (IHDS) is a nationally representative, multi-topic survey of 41,554 households in 1503 villages and 971 urban neighbourhoods across India. The first round of interviews was completed in 2004-05; data are publicly available through ICPSR. A second round of IHDS re-interviewed most of these households in 2011-12 (N=42,152) and data for the same can be found here.

IHDS has been jointly organised by researchers from the University of Maryland and the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. Funding for the second round of this survey is provided by the National Institutes of Health, grants R01HD041455 and R01HD061048. Additional funding is provided by The Ford Foundation, IDRC and DFID.
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