Economic and social dynamics of migration in Kerala, 1999-2004: Analysis of panel data
Panel studies based on the same set of sample households or individuals at two points of time 5 or 10 years apart are time consuming and are relatively rare in social science research. Such a method, however, was used in the South Asia Migration study (SMS) conducted by the Centre for Development Studies in 2004. About 125 of the 200 Panchayats surveyed in SMS were the same as those surveyed in Kerala Migration Study (KMS) in 1999. About 5 thousand of the 10 thousand households of SMS in 2004 were the same as those selected in KMS in 1999. About 14 thousand individuals in the 2004 sample households were the same as those enumerated in 1999. Thus, SMS provides comparable panel data for about 125 Panchayats, about 5 thousand households and about 14 thousand individuals at an interval of 5 years. Analysis of these panel data is the objective of this paper. The analysis of the panel data validated the trend in migration, remittances, employment and unemployment patterns, consumption habits, etc shown by the KMS and SMS (using the full set of 10,000 households). The trends shown by the full set of data were more or less the same as shown by the panel data using the same set of households. Thus, the panel analysis showed that sampling errors were within acceptable limits in both these studies. A special feature of the panel analysis was that it could provide quantitative measures of shifts in employment pattern of the labour force during 1999-2004. An equally important result of the panel analysis is the information it provided on process of employment of those unemployed in 1999 and the background information on the economic activity of the unemployed in 2004. Thus, the panel analysis provides valuable information on the transition of the unemployed before becoming unemployed and the transition after becoming unemployed. A one time survey cannot give such information. This is a unique feature of this panel study described in this Working Paper.
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