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The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India

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  • Bharadwaj, Prashant

    (Yale U)

  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz

    (Harvard U)

  • Mian, Atif

    (U of Chicago)

Abstract

The partition of India in 1947 along ostensibly religious lines into India, Pakistan, and what eventually became Bangladesh resulted in one of the largest and most rapid migrations in human history. We compile district level census data from archives to quantify the scale of migratory flows across the sub-continent. We estimate total migratory inflows of 14.5 million and outflows of 17.9 million, implying 3.4 million "missing" people. We also uncover a substantial degree of regional variability. Flows were much larger along the western border, higher in cities and areas close to the border, and dependent heavily on the size of the "minority" religious group. The migratory flows also display a "relative replacement effect" with in-migrants moving to places that saw greater out-migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Bharadwaj, Prashant & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Mian, Atif, 2008. "The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India," Working Paper Series rwp08-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp08-029
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    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=5841&type=WPN
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    Cited by:

    1. Prashant Bharadwaj & James Fenske, 2011. "Partition, Migration, and Jute Cultivation in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(8), pages 1084-1107, January.
    2. Jha, Saumitra, 2014. "‘Unfinished business’: Historic complementarities, political competition and ethnic violence in Gujarat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 18-36.
    3. Kim, Rockli & Mohanty, Sanjay K. & Subramanian, S.V., 2016. "Multilevel Geographies of Poverty in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 349-359.
    4. repec:epc:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:5-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kwok Tong Soo, 2014. "Zipf, Gibrat and geography: Evidence from China, India and Brazil," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 159-181, March.
    6. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 10031035-10.
    7. An, Galina & Becker, Charles M., 2013. "Uncertainty, Insecurity, and Emigration from Kazakhstan to Russia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 44-66.
    8. Castelló-Climent, Amparo & Chaudhary, Latika & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2015. "Tertiary Education and Prosperity: Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India," IZA Discussion Papers 9441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.

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