What Has Been Happening to Real Wages in Pakistan?

Azizur Rahman Khan


It seems unnecessary to prepare an elaborate case emphasizing
the need for some knowledge about the movement of real wages. Such
knowledge would help confirm our ideas about the supply of labour and
its abundance or scarcity, shed light on the mechanism of transfer of
labour from the traditional sector to the modern sector by highlighting
the incentive differential between wages in these two sectors and its
change over time, and provide insight into the question of the
distribution of incremental income. In view of the obvious importance of
the subject, it seems unfortunate that practically no enthusiasm has
been shown by researchers in estimating the course of this variable in
Pakistan. Certainly part of the explanation lies in the inadequacy of
statistical information. Over the vast agricultural sector, wage labour
is not the dominant mode of production. Whatever wage-labour relations
exist there and in the services sectors are not systematically reported
by the data collecting machinery in the country. Inevitably one is,
therefore, limited to the examination of the wage movement in the
manufacturing industries only.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v7i3pp.317-347


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