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Internal migration and inclusive development: Insights from the field


  • Ray, Jhilam
  • Naaz, Farhat
  • Khasnobis, Poulomi
  • Majumder, Rajarshi


Migration is a universal phenomenon. From time immemorial women and men have travelled in search of better living. There are two separate streams of migration. The first one is at the upper end of human capital hierarchy, to fill in existing surplus demand in the labour market of destination regions. Consequently, this process is highly selective in nature – in terms of skill & training, age, and gender. The second stream emerges due to ‘Push factors’ or distress conditions in the source regions (relative to the destination) – economic hardships in the form of low wages, high unemployment, heavy population pressure, etc. in the native places, and the lure of better earning opportunities in the economically vibrant destination region. This process is a coping mechanism of poor families and helps them come out of poverty. Thus migration can be both discriminatory and egalitarian. Another issue is the emerging pattern of identity and conflict between natives and migrants in several parts of the country. Social inclusion of migrants is sometimes at jeopardy and goes against the ethos and economics of one nation-one labour market principle. This issue needs to be examined also. Using field data, this paper seeks to understand the following issues:(a) Who migrates – what are the social, economic and institutional factors that determine migration decisions? (b) Are there any disparities between migrants/natives and various socio-religious groups regarding – Educational Attainment, Availability of employment, Nature of employment (casual/regular), Occupational distribution, and Earnings?; (c) What are the migration patterns of lagging socio-religious groups? Whether migration does form a route out of poverty for them, and whether specific policies for these groups exist or should be recommended; (d) Understand whether the process of migration is leading to better human capital standards for the subsequent generation or stifling it; and, (e) Examine the perception of natives in receiving regions about migrant workers and how migrants assimilate. The paper uses primary data from 3 districts of Bengal to explore the issues highlighted. It would also explore the impact on the migrants, the receiving regions and the sending regions through case studies to help us in understanding the issue of social inclusion of migrants. Several processes/local systems of migration have also been examined to highlight the vulnerability of the migrants. Inferences from the paper would help in devising a broadbased and inclusive migration policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray, Jhilam & Naaz, Farhat & Khasnobis, Poulomi & Majumder, Rajarshi, 2019. "Internal migration and inclusive development: Insights from the field," MPRA Paper 93318, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:93318

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francisca M. Antman, 2012. "Elderly Care and Intrafamily Resource Allocation when Children Migrate," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 331-363.
    2. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants’ Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, April.
    3. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-178, May.
    4. Rajarshi Majumder & Farhat Naaz, 2016. "Workers on the move: Migrated labour in India in early 21st century," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(3), pages 419-440, September.
    5. Mathur, Ashok, 1983. "Regional Development and Income Disparities in India: A Sectoral Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 475-505, April.
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    More about this item


    Migration; Labour Market; Poverty; Inequality; Coping Strategy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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