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Migration and Human Development in India

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  • Priya Deshingkar

    ()
    (Overseas Development Institute, London)

  • Shaheen Akter

    ()
    (Overseas Development Institute, London)

Abstract

The paper discusses how gaps in both the data on migration and the understanding of the role of migration in livelihood strategies and economic growth in India, have led to inaccurate policy prescriptions and a lack of political commitment to improving the living and working conditions of migrants. Field evidence from major migrant employing sectors is synthesised to show that circular migration is the dominant form of economic mobility for the poor; especially the lower castes and tribes. The authors argue that the human costs of migration are high due to faulty implementation of protective legislation and loopholes in the law and not due to migration per se. The paper discusses child labour in specific migration streams in detail stressing that this issue needs to be addressed in parallel. It also highlights the non-economic drivers and outcomes of migration that need to be considered when understanding its impacts. The authors calculate that there are roughly 100 million circular migrants in India contributing 10% to the national GDP. New vulnerabilities created by the economic recession are discussed. Detailed analysis of village resurveys in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are also presented and these show conclusively that migration is an important route out of poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2009-13.

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Length: 90 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: Apr 2009
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.
Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-13

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Keywords: India; circular migration; caste; tribe; child labour; human development;

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References

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  1. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, 2006. "Gendered Livelihoods in Small Mines and Quarries in India: Living on the edge," ASARC Working Papers 2006-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  2. Jesim Pais, 2006. "Migration and Labour mobility in the Leather Accessories Manufacture in India," Working Papers id:451, eSocialSciences.
  3. Sergio Vergalli & Michele Moretto, 2005. "Migration Dynamics," Working Papers 2005.108, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  5. Ben Rogaly & Daniel Coppard & Abdur Safique & Kumar Rana & Amrita Sengupta & Jhuma Biswas, 2002. "Seasonal Migration and Welfare/Illfare in Eastern India: A Social Analysis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 89-114.
  6. Priya Deshingkar & Pramod Sharma & Sushil Kumar & Shaheen Akter & John Farrington, 2008. "Circular migration in Madhya Pradesh: changing patterns and social protection needs," European Journal of Development Research, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 612-628.
  7. Fan, Shenggen & Chan-Kang, Connie & Mukherjee, Anit, 2005. "Rural and urban dynamics and poverty: Evidence from China and India," FCND discussion papers 196, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. de Haan, A., 2011. "Inclusive growth? Labour migration and poverty in India," ISS Working Papers - General Series 22201, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  2. Amelie Constant & Klaus Zimmermann, 2011. "Circular and Repeat Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 495-515, August.
  3. Wilson, E. J. & Jayanthakumaran, K. & Verma, R., 2012. "Demographics, Labor Mobility, and Productivity," ADBI Working Papers 387, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  4. K.S. Kavi Kumar & Kamal Karunagoda & Enamul Haque & L. Venkatachelam & Girish Nath Bahal, 2012. "Addressing Long-term Challenges to Food Security and Rural Livelihoods in South Asia," Working Papers 2012-075, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  5. K.S. Kavi Kumar & BRINDA VISWANATHAN, 2012. "Weather Variability and Agriculture-Implications for Long and Short-term Migration in India," Working papers 220, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  6. Brinda Viswanathan & K. S. Kavi Kumar, 2013. "Rural Migration, Weather and Agriculture: Evidence from Indian Census Data," Working Papers 2013-080, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  7. K. S. Kavi Kumar & Brinda Viswanathan, 2013. "Weather and Migration in India: Evidence from NSS Data," Working Papers 2013-079, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  8. Kristina A. Schapiro, 2009. "Migration and Educational Outcomes of Children," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-57, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Oct 2009.
  9. John Bennett & Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen, 2012. "Risk attitudes and informal employment in a developing economy," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-17, December.
  10. S. Chandrasekhar & Ajay Sharma, 2012. "On the internal mobility of Indians: Knowledge gaps and emerging concerns," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-023, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.

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