Research Interests: Labour Economics, Development, Economics of Education, Issues in Urban Economics and Informal Economy, Gender Studies
Jeemol Unni is Professor of Economics at Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad. Before joining Ahmedabad University she was the Director of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) and RBI Chair Professor of Economics at IRMA. She was the Elected President, 63rd Labour Economics Conference, Indian Society of Labour Economics, 2023. She holds a PhD in Economics and MPhil in Applied Economics. Recipient of the Yale University Postdoctoral Fellowship on Household Economics and spent two years at the Economic Growth Center, Yale University, USA. Have taught at the University of Ireland, Galway and The Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.
Worked as an external collaborator to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, on the Engendering Informality Statistics project (2023). Was ILO Consultant and Senior Advisor to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), Government of India (2006-08).She is currently a member of the 'Expert Group on leveraging data for monitoring, policy and planning' constituted by the Niti Aayog in November 2022. She was a member of the Standing Committee on Economic Statistics constituted by the Government of India.
She is a specialist in Labour economics. Her special research focus in the areas of rural and urban labour markets is on the informalisation of labour and production systems and the gender implications of this process. In addition, her research addresses issues of returns to education and social protection to informal workers including both social and economic securities and women entrepreneurship. She actively collaborates with national and international NGOs in addressing issues related to workers in the informal sector. She has been a member of the Board of Governors of a policy advocacy group on the informal economy, WIEGO, registered as a charitable company in Manchester, UK. She is currently on the Board of Governors of several educational institutions in India. She is on the Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics and the Journal of Development Policy and Practice.
Her research addresses issues of informalisation of labour and the gender implication of it, returns to education, social protection and women entrepreneurship.
She has carried out extensive research on issues concerning rural and urban labour markets in developing countries. Her special focus in this area is on the informalisation of labour and production systems and the gender implications of this process. In addition, her research addresses issues of returns to education and social protection to informal workers including both social and economic securities. She actively collaborates with national and international NGOs in addressing issues related to workers in the informal sector, particularly women. Currently she is engaged in writing a book on Women Entrepreneurship.
Selected Articles in Published in Journals (Since 2001)
“Does a Man's Hardship Matter More than a Woman's? Justifying Domestic Violence", (with Pritha Dev and Akshaya Vijayalakshmi), Economic and Political Weekly, (Accepted, May 2023).
“Platforms and Shared Economy: Precarity of Work or Building Agency?” The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 66(2): 355–370, 2023. DOI : 10.1007/s41027-023-00435-8
“Employment and Income Shock during COVID-19 lockdown in a Metropolitan city in India” (with Pritha Dev and Akshaya Vijayalakshmi), Indian Economic Journal, 2023.
“Private Investment in Education and Linkage to Future Employment in India: Will the Pandemic Take its Toll?” The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 2023. 66(1): 267-281. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41027-022-00421-6
“Gender Differentials in Entrepreneurship: Insights from a Multi-method Study” (with Vanita Yadav, Ravikiran Naik and Swati Dutta), The Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 30–64, March 2022. https://doi.org/10.1177/09713557211069283
“How macroeconomic shocks impact employment: Comparison of Gujarat with states in Western India”, (With Pritha Dev), Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer, 23: (Supplement 1): S199-S211, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40847-020-00123-z
“Impact of Lockdown Relief Measures on Informal Enterprises and Informal Workers”, Economic and Political Weekly, 2020, 55:51, 26 December, 2020. https://www.epw.in/engage/article/impact-lockdown-relief-measures-informal-enterprises-workers
“Impact of COVID on Informal Economy: The Revival”, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 63: (Supplement 1): S113–S118, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1007/s41027-020-00265-y
Markets and Spillover Effects of Political Institutions in Promoting Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from India, (with Vivek Pandey and Shyam Singh), Feminist Economics, Vol. 26, No. 4, 1–30, 2020
“Formalization of the Informal Economy: Perspectives of Capital and Labour”, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 2018, 61(1), 2018, 87-103
“Gender Skills and Employability in India”, Geography and You, 104, 2017
“Inclusive Urbanization: Informal Employment and Gender”, IIC Quarterly, Winter 2016–Spring 2017, 43 (3 and 4): 55-64.
“Women Entrepreneurship: Research review and future directions”, (with Vanita Yadav), Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, 6:12, 2016
“Skill Gaps and Employability: Higher Education in India”, Journal of Development Policy and Practice, Volume 1, No. 1, pp. 18–34, 2016
“Rural Livelihoods in Transition: Whither Labour”, The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Volume 57, issue No: 1, pp. 35-51, 2014
“Measuring Informality of Employment in Urban India” (with Ravikiran Naik), The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Volume 56, issue No: 4, pp 493-508, 2013
“Employment Vulnerability in the Urban Labour Market in India” (with Ravikiran Naik) The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Volume 56, issue No: 4, pp. 509-523. 2013
“Wages and Informal Labour Markets in India: Whither premiums on human capital investments” (with Sudipa Sarkar) The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Volume 56, issue No: 4, 2013, pp. 625-545
“Changing Occupations, Changing Skills: Graduate Labour Market in India‟, (with Sudipa Sarkar), VIKALPA, Vol 37, No.3, pp 111-115, 2012
“Rural Structural Transformation: The role of the services sector in India‟, (with Ravikiran Naik) Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVI Nos 26 & 27, 2011
Do Economic Reforms Influence Home-based Work in India? Evidence from India” (with Uma Rani), Special Issue on Inequality, Development and Growth, Feminist Economics, Vol 15, No. 3:191-225, 2009
“Governance Structure and Labour Market Outcomes in Garment Embellishment Chains”, (With Suma Scaria), The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 52, No. 4, 2009
“Gender Differentials in Education: Exploring the Capabilities Approach”, Economic and Political Weekly, Volume 44, No. 9, 2009
“Women Workers in the New Economy”, Keynote paper for the Golden Jubilee Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics, The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 51, No. 4, October-December, 2008
“Informal Employment in India and China” (With Lu-Ming, Fudan University), The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2007
“Growth of Employment at the Turn of the Century: Illusion of Inclusiveness?” (With G. Raveendran), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 42 No. 3, 2007.
“Are the Results of the Economic Census Robust?‟ (With G. Raveendran), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 41, No. 33, 2006.
“Decent Work Deficits in the Informal Economy: The Case of Surat, India‟, (with Paula Kantor and Uma Rani), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 41, No.21, 2006
“The Right to Work for the Self-employed in India”, The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2005
“Wages and Incomes in Formal and Informal Sectors in India‟, The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2005
Globalization and Securing Rights for Women Informal Workers in Asia‟, Journal of Human Development, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2004
Social Protection for Informal Workers: Insecurities, Instruments and Institutional Mechanisms‟ (with Uma Rani), Development and Change, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2003.
Education and Women’s Labour Market Outcomes in India‟ (with Geeta G. Kingdon), Education Economics, Vol. 9, No.2, 173-195, 2001
When Home-Based Workers Raise Their Voices: An Indian Perspective, (with Ratna Sudarshan), SAIS Review, Vol. XXI, No.1, pp.109-115, Winter-Spring 2001
Articles in Edited Volumes (Since 2005)
“Evolving forms of organizing workers in the informal economy”, In Maurizio Atzeni, et.al., (edited) Handbook of Research on the Global Political Economy of Work, Edward Elgar, London, 2023 (Forthcoming)
“The Idea of Economic Citizenship and the Citizenship Act” (with Abhishek Preetham) In Amir Ullah Khan and Riaz F. Shaikh (edited) Citizenship: Context and Challenges, CDPP, Hyderabad, 2021. ISBN 978-81-953449-3-2
“Boosting Women’s Work Participation”, In Santosh Mehrotra, (edited) Reviving Jobs: An Agenda for Growth, Penguin Random House, 2020
“Mandi/Sabzi Mandi/E-Chaupal”, In Rukmini Nair and Peter Ronald de Souza, Keywords for India: A Conceptual Lexicon for the 21st Century, Bloomsbury Academic, India, 2020
“Gender Differentials in Education: Exploring the Capabilities Approach”, in Kameshwari Jandhyala and Vimala Ramachandran (edited) Gender and Education, Orient Blackswan, Hyderabad, 2019
“Returns to Education by Gender among Wage Employees in Urban India”, In Ratna M. Sudarshan and J.B.G. Tilak (edited) Gender in Contemporary Education Research, Gyan Publishing House and NIEPA, New Delhi, 2018
“Employment and Education: An Exploration of the Demand-side Story”, (with Sudipa Sarkar) In Devesh Kapur and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (edited) Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education, Orient Blackswan Private Limited, Hyderabad, 2017
“Employment and Industrial Development in India” in C.P. Chandrasekhar (edited) Economics, Volume I: Indian Industrialisation, Oxford University Press, October 2015
“Gujarat’s Employment Story: Growth with informality” (With Ravikiran Naik) in Indira Hirway, Amita Shah and Ghanshyam Shah (edited), Growth or Development: Which way is Gujarat Going? Oxford University Press, India, 2014
“The Challenges of Skill Formation and Training”, in Vandana Desai and Robert B Potter, In The Companion to Development Studies, Third edition, Routledge, London, 2013
“Agricultural Labour in India”, in Kaushik Basu (edited), Oxford Companion to Economics in India, (2nd edition) Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2011
“Women’s Work: Measurement, Nature and the Informal Sector”, In Nirmala Banerjee, Samita Sen and Nandita Dhawan (edited) Mapping the Field: Gender Relations in Contemporary India- Volume 1: Readings in Gender Studies, Stree Publishers, Kolkata, 2011
“Informality and Gender in the Labour Market for Muslims in India: Has education been a route out of poverty?” In R. Basant and A. Shariff (edited) Handbook of Muslims in India: Empirical and Policy Perspectives, Oxford University Press, 2010.
“The Unorganized Sector and Urban Poverty: Issues in Livelihoods”, in India: Urban Poverty Report, 2009, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, GOI, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2009.
“Earnings and Education among Social Groups”, in A. Shariff and Maithreyi Krishnaraj (edited), State, Markets and Inequalities: Human Development in Rural India, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2007
“Informal Workers in Ahmedabad City”, (With Uma Rani), in Annapurna Shaw (edited), Indian Cities in Transition, Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 2007
“Contours of Conflict and Coalition: Rise of the Intermediate Classes and Castes”, in Mary E. John, Praveen Jha and Surinder S. Jodhka (edited), Contested Transformation: Changing Economies and Identities in Contemporary India, Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2006.
“Gender and Non-farm Employment”, (with Uma Rani), In Rohini Nayyar and Alakh N. Sharma (edited) Rural Transformation in India: The Role of the Non-farm Sector, Institute of Human Development, New Delhi, 2005.
Currently she teaches under-graduate and post-graduate level courses in Development Economics and Urban Informal Economy. She has taught various courses at the post graduate level such as Economic Environment and Policy, Business Environment, Gender and Development, and Ecology and Economy.
Recent Consultancy Assignments
1. International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, External Collaboration Contract on Engendering Informality Statistics to Review the analysis and use of informality statistics from a gender perspective. The study will review the use of gender and informality statistics. This will involve identifying use cases and assessing current diagnostic approaches with the role of quantitative data in countries. The review will identify important gaps in the new informality indicator framework and diagnostic methods, recommend how to integrate a gender perspective and propose a framework for conducting gender-sensitive analysis of informality statistics that can guide the production and use of official statistics. This work will support the ILO in developing updated and gender-sensitive diagnostic approaches and in illustrating how the indicator framework can be maximized to support better gender data. January 15 to May 15, 2023.
Member of Relevant Government Committees
Corporate Board Membership