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Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap

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  • Kaivan Munshi
  • Mark Rosenzweig

Abstract

We provide an explanation for the large spatial wage disparities and low male migration in India based on the trade-off between consumption smoothing, provided by caste-based rural insurance networks, and the income gains from migration. Our theory generates two key empirically verified predictions: (i) males in relatively wealthy households within a caste who benefit less from the redistributive (surplus-maximizing) network will be more likely to migrate, and (ii) males in households facing greater rural income risk (who benefit more from the insurance network) migrate less. Structural estimates show that small improvements in formal insurance decrease the spatial misallocation of labor by substantially increasing migration. (JEL G22, J31, J61, O15, O18, R23, Z13)

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  • Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2016. "Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(1), pages 46-98, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:1:p:46-98 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131365
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    Cited by:

    1. Imbert, Clément, 2016. "Short-term Migration Rural Workfare Programs and Urban Labor Markets - Evidence from India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1116, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:151-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pavcnik, Nina, 2017. "The Impact of Trade on Inequality in Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 12331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Yousef Daoud & Belal Fallah, 2016. "The differential impact of employment in agriculture on wages for rural and non-rural Palestine," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Yu Zheng & Raul Santaeulalia, 2016. "The Price of Growth: Consumption Insurance in China 1989-2009," 2016 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Agha Ali Akram & Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2017. "Effects of Emigration on Rural Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 23929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bhavnani, Rikhil R. & Lacina, Bethany, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism at Work? Central Responses to Internal Migration in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 236-248.
    8. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    9. Anindya Bhattacharya & Anirban Kar & Alita Nandi, 2016. "Local institutional structure and clientelistic access to employment: the case of MGNREGS in three states of India," Working papers 269, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    10. Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani & Xin Meng & Luigi Minale, "undated". "Risk Attitudes and Household Migration Decisions," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1514, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    11. Azam, Mehtabul, 2017. "Are Urban-Rural Welfare Differences Growing in India?," IZA Discussion Papers 11174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Duranton,Gilles & Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Goswami,Arti Grover & Kerr,William Robert, 2016. "A detailed anatomy of factor misallocation in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7547, The World Bank.
    13. Joan Hamory Hicks & Marieke Kleemans & Nicholas Y. Li & Edward Miguel, 2017. "Reevaluating Agricultural Productivity Gaps with Longitudinal Microdata," NBER Working Papers 23253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Katsushi S. Imai & Bilal Malaeb & Fabrizio Bresciani, 2016. "Remittances, Growth and Poverty Reduction in Asia - A Critical Review of the Literature and the New Evidence from Cross-country Panel Data," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-28, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    15. Chakrabarti, Anindya S., 2016. "Inflationary effects of monetary policies in newly industrialized economies with cross-sectoral labor and capital immobility," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 151-167.
    16. Johny, Judit & Wichmann, Bruno & Swallow, Brent M., 2017. "Characterizing social networks and their effects on income diversification in rural Kerala, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 375-392.
    17. Miriam Manchin & Sultan Orazbayev, 2016. "Social networks and the intention to migrate," Development Working Papers 409, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    18. Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2013. "Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13045r, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, revised Mar 2016.
    19. Nina Pavcnik, 2017. "The Impact of Trade on Inequality in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 23878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Manabu Furuta & Prabir Bhattacharya & Takahiro Sato, 2017. "Effects of Trade Liberalization on the Gender Wage Gap: Evidences from Panel Data of the Indian Manufacturing Sector," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-22, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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