Male Migration From Rural India: Divergent Pathways to Long-Term and Short-Term Migration

Sonalde B. Desai, India Human Development Survey
Esha Chatterjee , University of Maryland

Are long-term and short-term circular migrations a part of the same continuum? How does a change in the opportunity structure affect these two processes? Using data from the two waves of India Human Development Survey, a nationally representative panel survey of households, this paper examines the factors that affect male migration from rural areas. The results suggest that long-term migration forms part of a household’s mobility strategy and is used by educated, higher income and upper caste households; in contrast circular migration forms part of a household’s survival strategy and is used by less educated, poor households belonging dalit and adivasi communities. These results suggest that provision of rural employment is likely to have little impact on rural male outmigration for long-term workers but may reduce distress migration associated with low rural wages. Next, we examine the impact of Government’s program on employment generation on long-term and circular migration.

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 Presented in Session 171. Temporary and Circular Migration