Impact of Migration on Rural Inequalities: Evidence from India

Chhavi Tiwari , University of Florida

Research on migration in India has been hampered by the lack of data as well as the clarity of definitions used for the process of migration. In this paper, we try to understand whether long-term and short-term migration are driven with similar kind of forces, and do they have a similar effect on inequalities in source areas? How does public employment opportunities in origin affect these processes? For the purpose, we used two waves of Indian Human Development Survey, a nationally representative panel survey of households. The findings suggest that long-term and short-term migration are driven by different factors and so should be studied interchangeably. Short-term migration is the survival strategy adopted by households from less educated and economically weak background. On the contrary, long-term migration is more common in richer and more educated households. The results also suggest that income from these types of migration have a different impact on rural inequalities. Using Heckman selection model, we found that where households remittances from long-term migrants tend to heighten rural disparities, seasonal migration equalizes it.

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 Presented in Session 62. Migration and Spatial Change in Global South