The study contributes significantly to literature by generating empirical information on extent and nature of the temporal and spatial patterns of the rural non-farm employment (RNFE) in more than 600 districts over the last four decades of the 20th century in India.
The study analyse district level dynamics of non-farm employment in rural India. Research identified the leading and lagging states, regions and districts in the country in level and growth of RNFE in the country. It also examined and uncovered the structural dynamics of changing composition as well as rise and decay of various RNFE activities across states and districts during different phases of the study period. Econometric model estimated on the district-level data identified key pull and push factors as determinants of the spatial variations in RNFE in the country. Drawn upon the empirical findings, the study suggested some policy options for rejuvenation and promotion of RNFE in the lagging regions in the country. The study recommends the development of agriculture and human resources, revitalization of public administration, strengthening of rural-urban linkages and a special focus on thirty seven identified underdeveloped and slow growing districts for much desired structural changes in the lagging regions and districts in rural non-farm employment in the country so as to accelerate the process of diversification from farm to rural non-farm sector.