research institute for compassionate economics

Short-term Labor Migration from Rural, Northwest India: Evidence from new survey data

Diane Coffey, John Papp, Dean Spears, on October 30th, 2014

Despite high rates of internal migration, India is urbanizing relatively slowly. This paper uses new data from rural, northwest India to study short-term migration to urban areas and its role in rural livelihoods. First, we demonstrate the importance of data collection techniques tailored to understanding short-term migration. Second, we consider how traditional theories of migration apply in this context, where the fixed costs of migration are low, the opportunity costs vary by season, and where migration is negatively selective for education and economic status. We conclude by considering the implications of this migration for theories of development and development policies.

Download Published: Population Research and Policy Review       Geography: North India