Monsoon Variability and Labor Allocation in Rural India

Esha Zaveri, Pennsylvania State University
David Abler, Pennsylvania State University
Karen Fisher-Vanden, Pennsylvania State University
Douglas H. Wrenn, Pennsylvania State University

In this study, we provide evidence on the causal relationship between climate change and adaptive measures of irrigation adoption and migration in one of the world’s most water stressed countries. India uses more water for irrigation than any other country but faces increasing variability in rainfall causing pressure on water supply in wells and canals. Migration estimates remain relatively low, yet recent data from the Census suggest that the urban population, for the first time, grew faster than rural India's with most of the increase attributed to migration. We empirically test the impact of rainfall and temperature variability, on out-migration decisions through the channel of irrigation access, by linking household data to geo-referenced climate data. Fixed- effects and instrumental variable models will be used with two nationally representative household surveys, panel data from 1971-2006 and cross-sectional data from 2007, to estimate household adaptation in response to weather and climate variability.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment