Missing Men, Migration and Labor Markets: Evidence from India

Author : Chinmay Tumbe | 2014
Published By: South Asia Research Network

How do labor markets function when a large part of the able-bodied male workforce is absent due to out-migration? This question holds great significance as it affects regions covering over 200 million people in India and many other parts of the world. In this paper, we analyze individual and district level data on internal and international migration, remittances, sex ratios and labor market variables in India from the perspective of the migrant’s source region and find that the ‘missing men’ phenomenon is associated with (a) Feminization of the agricultural workforce (b) Higher levels of male employment in the construction and rural non-farm services sector and (c) Higher rural wages for males due to tighter labor markets. We argue that these associations are likely to be causal in nature through an instrumental variable strategy that employs historic migration networks that evolved in the late nineteenth century as instruments for current migration.

URL : http://www.ihdindia.org/sarnet/TumbeMissingMenMigrationandLaborMarketsinIndia.pdf

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