Weather Variability and Agriculture-Implications for Long and Short-term Migration in India
While a wide range of factors influence rural-rural and rural-urban migration in developing countries, there is significant interest in analyzing the role of agricultural distress and growing inter-regional differences in fuelling such movement. Given climate sensitivity of agriculture, there is also interest in exploring three-way linkage between agriculture, migration and weather anomalies. This strand of research acquires importance in the context of climate change adaptation. In the Indian context this analysis gets further complicated due to significant presence of short-term migration. Acknowledging the specific features of migration in India and with evidence from multiple data sources, this paper, (a) analyses the role of weather variability in inducing short-term migration using NSS (2007-08) data; and (b) estimates elasticity of long-term migration with respect to weather variability using Census data over the period 1981-2001. The results suggest that weather variability has an important role to play in both long-term and short-term migration in India.
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