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Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration

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Abstract

We match migration data from the 1991 and 2001 Indian Census with climate data to test the hypothesis of climate variability as a push factor for internal migration. The article contributes to the literature by combining three important factors. First, we introduce relevant meteorological indicators of climate variability, based on the standardized precipitation index. Second, the use of the census data enables us to match the migration data with the relevant climate data ex ante, rather than relying on average conditions. Third, we analyse bilateral migration rates in order to fully account for characteristics in both the origin and the destination. We therefore use an econometric estimation method that accounts for zero observations, which are frequent in bilateral data. The estimation results show that drought frequency in the origin state acts as push factor on inter-state migration in India. We do not find a statistically significant effect of the magnitude and the duration of drought episodes preceding migration. There is no evidence of excess precipitation acting as a push factor on inter-state migration. The results are robust to alternative specifications of fixed effects and to the inclusion of irrigation rates

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2013. "Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13045r, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, revised Mar 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:13045r
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Christopher R. Parsons, 2016. "Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration: Redux," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-11, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. Isabelle Chort & Maelys de la Rupelle, 2017. "Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers DT/2017/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:15-26 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; India; Internal migration; PPML; SPI;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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