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Weather Variability, Agriculture and Rural Migration: Evidence from State and District Level Migration in India

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  • Brinda Viswanathan
  • K.S. Kavi Kumar

Abstract

This study explores the three-way linkage between weather variability, agricultural performance and internal migration in India. We estimate a two-equation model, which examines variations in weather that influence crop yield and identifies the resulting effect on the rate of migration. The analysis uses two variants of migration data - inter-state out-migration and intra-state district-level in-migration - reported in the Indian Census. The elasticity of the inter-state out-migration rate with respect to per capita net state domestic agricultural product is approximately (-)0.75, indicating that a decline in the value of agricultural output related to weather variations results in an increase in the out-migration rate. The crop-wise analysis shows that a one percent decline in rice (wheat) yield leads to nearly 2 percent (1 percent) increase in the rate of out-migration from a state. The decline in rice yield triggers a higher rate of migration relative to the decline in wheat yield, possibly because of widespread cultivation of rice compared to wheat and involvement of family labor for the cultivation of this labor-intensive crop. Interestingly, the district-level analysis shows larger magnitudes of estimated change in in-migration rates relative to changes in crop yields. The results suggest that the impact of yield changes on the migration rate depend on both the inter-play between inter- and intra-district migration rates as well as the crop under consideration. Migration is certainly a potential adaptation strategy for people adversely affected by the impact of weather and climate change. Our findings suggest that weather related changes in agricultural productivity do contribute to migration in India; however, these inter-linked effects have, at least thus far,been relatively small.

Suggested Citation

  • Brinda Viswanathan & K.S. Kavi Kumar, "undated". "Weather Variability, Agriculture and Rural Migration: Evidence from State and District Level Migration in India," Working papers 83, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:snd:wpaper:83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marchiori, Luca & Maystadt, Jean-François & Schumacher, Ingmar, 2012. "The impact of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Lionel Jeusette, 2018. "A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on Climate Change and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 7417, CESifo.
    2. Heman D. Lohano, "undated". "Weather Variability, Agricultural Revenues and Internal Migration: Evidence from Pakistan," Working papers 99, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.
    3. Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2016. "Climate Variability and Internal Migration: A Test on Indian Inter-State Migration," Post-Print halshs-00825807, HAL.
    4. Michel BEINE & Lionel JEUSETTE, 2021. "A Meta-analysis of the Literature on Climate Change and Migration," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 293-344, September.
    5. Taraz, Vis, 2018. "Can farmers adapt to higher temperatures? Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 205-219.
    6. Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati & Vijay Kumar & P. K. Viswanathan, 2021. "An evidence-based systematic review on farmers’ adaptation strategies in India," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(2), pages 399-418, April.
    7. Ingrid Dallmann & Katrin Millock, 2017. "Climate Variability and Inter-State Migration in India," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(4), pages 560-594.
    8. K S Kavi Kumar & Brinda Viswanathan, 2012. "Weather Variability And Agriculture: Implications For Long And Short-Term Migration In India," Working Papers id:5173, eSocialSciences.
    9. Zovanga L Kone & Maggie Y Liu & Aaditya Mattoo & Caglar Ozden & Siddharth Sharma, 2018. "Internal borders and migration in India," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 729-759.
    10. K. S. Kavi Kumar & Brinda Viswanathan, 2013. "Weather and Migration in India: Evidence from NSS Data," Working Papers 2013-079, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    11. Sedova, Barbora & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2020. "Who are the climate migrants and where do they go? Evidence from rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    12. Vicente Ruiz, 2017. "Do climatic events influence internal migration? Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2017.19, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    13. 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.

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