Rural Migration, Weather and Agriculture: Evidence from Indian Census Data
This study explores the three way linkage between weather variability, agricultural performance and internal migration in India at state and district level using Indian Census data. We base all the analyses on a simultaneous equation model for panel data. The elasticity of inter-state out-migration rate with respect to the per capita net state domestic product is approximately (-)0.75. The crop-wise analysis, on the other hand, shows that the (negative) elasticities are higher and more substantial for rice (-1.85) than for wheat (-0.90). The district-level analysis shows larger magnitudes of estimated change in in-migration rates to relative changes in crop yields. The results suggest that the impact of yield change on the in-migration rate depends on both the inter-play between inter- and intra-district in-migration rates as well as the crop under consideration. The study findings could thus have significant policy relevance, especially in the context of global climate change and the prospect of migration serving as a potential adaptation strategy for people adversely affected by the impact of weather variability on crop yield.
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