Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market

World Development Report, 2013, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2012

Date Written: November 15, 2012


It is almost impossible to “prove” discrimination in the labor market, yet most would acknowledge that it exists and some would argue that the job you get and/or how much you are paid depends to some extent on who you are and the circles you move in. The insidiousness, the opaqueness, and indeed the sophistication surrounding the processes of discrimination are complex and difficult to separate out.

This paper places the analysis of the labor market within the overall context of social stratification and social norms and provides a more nuanced understanding of the processes that accompany discrimination and also helps in refining the notion of exclusion and discrimination. This paper is a step in the direction of unpacking the subtle processes by understanding mechanisms that abet and enable labor market discrimination. In doing so, it provides a typology of processes that underpin discrimination. Second, it develops a framework to understand how excluded groups respond to both the processes and the outcomes of discrimination or what they may perceive as being discrimination. A notion of submission and subversion is developed in this regard. Finally, the paper cites examples of how policy and institutional incentives can enable mobility within the labor market.

Keywords: labor market discrimination, exclusion, changing norms and processes, caste, gender, ethnicity, age

Suggested Citation

Das, Maitreyi Bordia, Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market (November 15, 2012). World Development Report, 2013, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2181701

Maitreyi Bordia Das (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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