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Migration and Human Development in India

  • Deshingkar, Priya
  • Akter, Shaheen

The paper discusses how gaps in both the data on migration and the understanding of the role of migration in livelihood strategies and economic growth in India, have led to inaccurate policy prescriptions and a lack of political commitment to improving the living and working conditions of migrants. Field evidence from major migrant employing sectors is synthesised to show that circular migration is the dominant form of economic mobility for the poor; especially the lower castes and tribes. The authors argue that the human costs of migration are high due to faulty implementation of protective legislation and loopholes in the law and not due to migration per se. The paper discusses child labour in specific migration streams in detail stressing that this issue needs to be addressed in parallel. It also highlights the non-economic drivers and outcomes of migration that need to be considered when understanding its impacts. The authors calculate that there are roughly 100 million circular migrants in India contributing 10% to the national GDP. New vulnerabilities created by the economic recession are discussed. Detailed analysis of village resurveys in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are also presented and these show conclusively that migration is an important route out of poverty.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19193/1/MPRA_paper_19193.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19193.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19193
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  1. Sergio Vergalli & Michele Moretto, 2005. "Migration Dynamics," Working Papers 2005.108, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Priya Deshingkar & Pramod Sharma & Sushil Kumar & Shaheen Akter & John Farrington, 2008. "Circular migration in Madhya Pradesh: changing patterns and social protection needs," The European Journal of Development Research, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 612-628.
  3. Ben Rogaly & Daniel Coppard & Abdur Safique & Kumar Rana & Amrita Sengupta & Jhuma Biswas, 2002. "Seasonal Migration and Welfare/Illfare in Eastern India: A Social Analysis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 89-114.
  4. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, 2006. "Gendered Livelihoods in Small Mines and Quarries in India: Living on the edge," ASARC Working Papers 2006-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  5. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  6. Jesim Pais, 2006. "Migration and Labour mobility in the Leather Accessories Manufacture in India," Working Papers id:451, eSocialSciences.
  7. Fan, Shenggen & Chan-Kang, Connie & Mukherjee, Anit, 2005. "Rural and urban dynamics and poverty: Evidence from China and India," FCND discussion papers 196, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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