The Impact of Water Access on Short-Term Migration in Rural India

51 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2016 Last revised: 23 Jun 2018

See all articles by Esha Zaveri

Esha Zaveri

Stanford University, Center on Food Security and the Environment; World Bank

Douglas H. Wrenn

Pennsylvania State University, Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Karen Fisher-Vanden

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: June 7, 2018

Abstract

Migration is an important risk-reduction strategy for households in developing countries. In this paper, we examine the impact of irrigation and its interaction with rainfall on short-term migration decisions in India. Our results show that migration responds to costs, and that deep fossil-water wells, which provide a constant source of water, eliminate any benefit of short-term migration. Our results also demonstrate that electricity availability lowers the likelihood of short-term migration even in areas where groundwater is significantly reduced. This suggests that regions with access to electricity can adapt and shift to new technologies that facilitate additional groundwater extraction.

Keywords: Migration, Groundwater, Irrigation, Climate, Indian Monsoon

JEL Classification: D74, I32, O13, O15, Q15, Q16

Suggested Citation

Zaveri, Esha and Wrenn, Douglas H. and Fisher-Vanden, Karen, The Impact of Water Access on Short-Term Migration in Rural India (June 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2856619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2856619

Esha Zaveri (Contact Author)

Stanford University, Center on Food Security and the Environment

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC DC 20433
United States
3129275301 (Phone)
20037 (Fax)

Douglas H. Wrenn

Pennsylvania State University, Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

Karen Fisher-Vanden

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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