The Impact of Water Access on Short-Term Migration in Rural India
51 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2016 Last revised: 23 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 7, 2018
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
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