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Regional patterns and determinants of commuting between rural and urban India

Author

Listed:
  • Vasavi Bhatt

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • S. Chandrasekhar

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • Ajay Sharma

    () (Indian Institute of Management, Indore)

Abstract

Despite an increase in the number of workers commuting between rural and urban areas, much of theliterature on worker mobility continues to be migration centric. This paper establishes the importance ofrural-urban commuting in India. As per estimates from Periodic Labour Force Survey 2018-19, anestimated 18.8 million individuals living in rural are working in urban India and the share of earnings from urban in total non-farm rural earnings is 19.3 percent. Among all rural workers, 7.3 percent arerural-urban commuters while only 2.1 percent of urban workers are urban-rural commuters. Wedocument large variations at the sub-national level. Our results from a multinomial model to understand the factors associated with commuting highlight the importance of lagged regional unemployment rate. A high rural unemployment rate acts as a push factor and a low urban unemployment rate acts as a pull factor for rural urban commuting. The urbanness of occupations in aregion is also an important correlate of commuting. The paper concludes by highlighting the need toprioritize questions in Indias labour force survey that would help understand the nature of labour mobility and strength of rural urban linkages.

Suggested Citation

  • Vasavi Bhatt & S. Chandrasekhar & Ajay Sharma, 2020. "Regional patterns and determinants of commuting between rural and urban India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2020-025, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2020-025
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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2020-025.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Mobility; Commuting; Rural-Urban Linkages; Classification of Jobs; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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