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To promote inclusive growth in India, there is a need to get a better understanding of the composition of businesses, how they operate, what constraints they face. The goal of the proposed project is to generate a better understanding of a) the size, location and characteristics of businesses in India, both formal and informal, over time based on the last few rounds of the labour force and economic census data; b) the diversity of production relations within and between firms (employer, own-account, contracting and sub-contracting, regular and casual wage labour) through both a literature review and data analysis; c) the linkages between formal and informal businesses through a literature review; d) which regulations help or hinder informal enterprises through a literature review; and e) modes of capital accumulation and patterns of technological change across industry sectors through a literature review.

Faculty Directors:

Martha Chen: Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School; Affiliated Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design; International Coordinator of the global research-policy-action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO).

Richard Freeman: Herbert S. Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Director, National Bureau of Economic Research.