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Climate Variability and Inter-State Migration in India

Author

Listed:
  • Ingrid Dallmann
  • Katrin Millock

Abstract

We match climate data to migration data from the 1991 and 2001 Indian Censuses to investigate the impact of climate variability on internal migration. The article makes four contributions to the existing literature on macro-level migration flows. First, use of census data allows us to test and compare the effect on migration of climatic factors prior to migration. Second, we introduce relevant meteorological indicators of climate variability, to measure the frequency, duration, and magnitude of drought and excess precipitation based on the Standardized Precipitation Index. Third, we estimate the total effect (direct and indirect effects) of climate variability on bilateral migration rates. Fourth, we examine three possible channels through which climate variability might induce migration: average income, agriculture, and urbanization. The estimation results show that drought frequency in the origin state increases inter-state migration in India. This effect is stronger in agricultural states, and in such states the magnitude of drought also increases inter-state migration significantly. Drought frequency has the strongest effect on rural–rural inter-state migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2017. "Climate Variability and Inter-State Migration in India," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(4), pages 560-594.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:560-594.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifx014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate variability; drought; excess precipitation; India; internal migration; PPML; SPI;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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