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Land degradation and migration in a dry land region in India: extent, nature and determinants

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  • SHAH, AMITA

Abstract

Migration literature has considered environmental constraints as one of the prime movers of populations, especially from dry regions, where water rather than land is the primary limiting factor. This study examines the impact of degradation of private as well as common pool land resources on migration decisions, based on primary data from over one thousand households in three dry land districts in Gujarat. The study finds that economic assets and natural capital have differential impacts on short-term and long-term migration decisions. Thus, any employment creation in rural dry land regions is likely to help the poorest. Further degradation of common-pool land resources influences short-term but not long-term migration. Therefore, better management of common-pool resources would strengthen the livelihood base of traditional herder communities and limit migration among middle-income households. Overall, in dry areas such as Gujarat, access to irrigation, rather than land ownership per se , is likely to deter migration.

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  • Shah, Amita, 2010. "Land degradation and migration in a dry land region in India: extent, nature and determinants," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 173-196, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:15:y:2010:i:02:p:173-196_99
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