Welcome to the LMI
High inequality in income and welfare is a major policy concern in both Brazil and India, for it undermines efforts to reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth. Brazil has long been one of the most unequal countries in the world, although there has been some success in reducing inequality in recent years. Inequality in India, although deeply rooted, was lower than Brazil’s in the past, but has been rising rapidly.

There are many sources of income inequality – production structures, the distribution of assets, the relative power of capital and labour, political forces and social hierarchy, as well as differences in education and capability. But among these many factors, labour market structures and institutions are of central importance. Understanding the pattern of labour market inequality and its determinants is therefore essential. This is the central focus of this project.

The study thus addresses a central issue of development policy which is a high priority in both Brazil and India. Trends in labour market inequality in the two countries are different, and it is important to understand why, how far this results from underlying social and economic institutions and relationships, and how far from policy choices and their implementation. Bringing together historical, macro and micro perspectives, the study adds to existing knowledge and contributes to policy choice through in-depth comparisons of the relationships and outcomes in the two countries.
The main objectives of this research project were:
  • To shed light on the determinants of levels and trends of labour market inequality through a comparison of Brazilian and Indian labour market structures and outcomes.
  • To contribute to policy design and choice by assessing and comparing the impact of specific policy instruments in the two countries, and by engaging social actors in debate on the findings.
  • To contribute to the development of methods of comparative research on labour market issues.
  • To strengthen South-South research collaboration, by promoting interaction between the research communities in Brazil and India engaged in labour market analysis, and strengthening their capabilities.
  Project Partners
  Institute for Human Development (IHD)
  CEBRAP, São Paulo
  Supported by
  IDRC Canada
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