An Empirical Exploration of the Population‐Environment Nexus in India

19 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2008


This article presents an empirical study of population growth and environmental change using cross‐section district‐level data from South, Central, and West India. Environmental change is measured using a satellite‐based vegetation index. Unlike prior work, the analysis treats population growth and environmental change as jointly determined, distinguishes between rural and urban populations, and distinguishes between two components of population growth, natural growth and migration. Among key findings are that environmental decline spurs rural population growth and net rural in‐migration, which prompt further environmental decline; environmental improvement spurs urban population growth and net urban in‐migration; and environmental scarcity spurs environmental improvement.

Keywords: environmental degradation, population growth, satellite data

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharya, Haimanti and Innes, Robert, An Empirical Exploration of the Population‐Environment Nexus in India (November 2008). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 90, Issue 4, pp. 883-901, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Haimanti Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

University of Utah ( email )

Department of Economics
1645 E Campus Center Drive, #308
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States


Robert Innes

University of Arizona

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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