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Short-term Migration and Rural Workfare Programs: Evidence from India

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Authors: Clément Imbert, John Papp

Published in: University of Warwick-Department of Economics

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Abstract:

This paper provides some of the rst evidence that rural development policies can have fundamental eects on the reallocation of labor between rural and urban areas. It studies the spillover eects of the world's largest rural workfare program, India's rural employment guarantee. We nd that the workfare program has substantial consequences: it reduces short-term (or seasonal) migration to urban areas by 9% and increases wages for manual, short-term work in urban areas by 6%. The implied elasticity of unskilled wages with respect to short-term migration is high (-0.7).

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