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Partition, migration, and jute cultivation in India

Fenske, James and Bharadwaj, Prashant (2010): Partition, migration, and jute cultivation in India.

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Abstract

Climate change is expected to displace millions of involuntary migrants in Bangladesh. We draw on history to show that these ``environmental refugees'' can play a positive role in the regions that receive them by looking at the partition of India. We use an instrumental variables (IV) strategy to show that the migrants played a major role in India's take-up of jute cultivation. Our estimates suggest that migrants fully explain post-Partition jute cultivation. Consistent with migrants bringing jute-specific skills with them, we find that migrants increased jute yields and did not increase the cultivation of other crops.

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