Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Internal migration and inclusive development: Insights from the field

Ray, Jhilam and Naaz, Farhat and Khasnobis, Poulomi and Majumder, Rajarshi (2019): Internal migration and inclusive development: Insights from the field.

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Migration is a universal phenomenon. From time immemorial women and men have travelled in search of better living. There are two separate streams of migration. The first one is at the upper end of human capital hierarchy, to fill in existing surplus demand in the labour market of destination regions. Consequently, this process is highly selective in nature – in terms of skill & training, age, and gender. The second stream emerges due to ‘Push factors’ or distress conditions in the source regions (relative to the destination) – economic hardships in the form of low wages, high unemployment, heavy population pressure, etc. in the native places, and the lure of better earning opportunities in the economically vibrant destination region. This process is a coping mechanism of poor families and helps them come out of poverty. Thus migration can be both discriminatory and egalitarian. Another issue is the emerging pattern of identity and conflict between natives and migrants in several parts of the country. Social inclusion of migrants is sometimes at jeopardy and goes against the ethos and economics of one nation-one labour market principle. This issue needs to be examined also. Using field data, this paper seeks to understand the following issues:(a) Who migrates – what are the social, economic and institutional factors that determine migration decisions? (b) Are there any disparities between migrants/natives and various socio-religious groups regarding – Educational Attainment, Availability of employment, Nature of employment (casual/regular), Occupational distribution, and Earnings?; (c) What are the migration patterns of lagging socio-religious groups? Whether migration does form a route out of poverty for them, and whether specific policies for these groups exist or should be recommended; (d) Understand whether the process of migration is leading to better human capital standards for the subsequent generation or stifling it; and, (e) Examine the perception of natives in receiving regions about migrant workers and how migrants assimilate. The paper uses primary data from 3 districts of Bengal to explore the issues highlighted. It would also explore the impact on the migrants, the receiving regions and the sending regions through case studies to help us in understanding the issue of social inclusion of migrants. Several processes/local systems of migration have also been examined to highlight the vulnerability of the migrants. Inferences from the paper would help in devising a broadbased and inclusive migration policy.

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