The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India

29 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2008 Last revised: 22 Aug 2008

See all articles by Prashant Bharadwaj

Prashant Bharadwaj

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics

Asim Ijaz Khwaja

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Atif R. Mian

Princeton University - Department of Economics; Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; NBER

Abstract

The partition of India in 1947 along ostensibly religious lines into India, Pakistan, and what eventually became Bangladesh resulted in one of the largest and most rapid migrations in human history. We compile district level census data from archives to quantify the scale of migratory flows across the sub-continent. We estimate total migratory inflows of 14.5 million and outflows of 17.9 million, implying 3.4 million "missing" people. We also uncover a substantial degree of regional variability. Flows were much larger along the western border, higher in cities and areas close to the border, and dependent heavily on the size of the "minority" religious group. The migratory flows also display a "relative replacement effect" with in-migrants moving to places that saw greater out-migration.

Suggested Citation

Bharadwaj, Prashant and Khwaja, Asim Ijaz and Mian, Atif R., The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India. HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-029. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1124093 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1124093

Prashant Bharadwaj (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States

Asim Ijaz Khwaja

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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617-384-7790 (Phone)
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Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP) ( email )

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Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
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United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Atif R. Mian

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

NBER

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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