Migration is a universal phenomenon. With increased development, as the push factors weaken, migration decreases. However, migration attributed to the pull factors, increases. One of the most important facets of the labour market is therefore, the profile of the migrant workers and the nature of their movements. In spite of extensive work on migration in the Indian context, recent studies on migration in India have focused mainly on rural-urban migration or on migration from/between specific regions. This paper explores the post-reform nature of migration in India with a special focus on migrant workers. It examines the types of movements, profiles of migrants vis-a-vis the natives, occupational distribution, and wages received by them. This has been contrasted with the pre-reform situation. The paper also examines whether the wage-setting process is different for migrants through an estimation of the wage function. The results suggest that migration among men is more of an ‘assured’ type rather than a ‘search’ type, in response to regular wage employment, where the better endowed/skilled/trained tend to move. The pull factors are definitely critical in this regard, though in the post-reform period, the push factors have gained strength. Though better-off states with lower incidence of poverty and higher per capita incomes have higher migration rates, the net out migration rates are considerably higher for the poorer states. This indicates that the condition of the source region may be most influential in migration decisions.
The Indian Journal of Labour Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 11, 2017
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