Skip to Main Navigation

Internal borders and migration in India (English)

Internal mobility is a critical component of economic growth and development, as it enables the reallocation of labor to more productive opportunities across sectors and regions. Using detailed district-to-district migration data from the 2001 Census of India, the paper highlights the role of state borders as significant impediments to internal mobility. The analysis finds that average migration between neighboring districts in the same state is at least 50 percent larger than neighboring districts on different sides of a state border, even after accounting for linguistic differences. Although the impact of state borders differs by education, age, and reason for migration, it is always large and significant. The paper suggests that inter-state mobility is inhibited by state-level entitlement schemes, ranging from access to subsidized goods through the public distribution system to the bias for states' own residents in access to tertiary education and public sector employment.


  • Author

    Kone,Zovanga Louis, Liu,Maggie Y., Mattoo,Aaditya, Ozden,Caglar, Sharma,Siddharth

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country


  • Region

    South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Internal borders and migration in India

  • Keywords

    Trade & International Integration;rural to urban migration;analysis of migration patterns;access to tertiary education;reason for migration;duration of stay;role of state;social welfare benefits;distribution of migrants;stock of migrant;household survey data;pattern of migration;duration of migration;primary school education;social welfare program;rates of access;minimum wage law;public sector employment;proof of identity;labor market characteristic;characteristics of migrant;labor force data;public distribution system;highly educated individual;trend in migration;unique identity;average household income;growth and development;secondary school education;cost of travel;lack of portability;Access to Education;migration of woman;bilateral migrant stocks;seasonal migrant worker;internal migration;mother tongue;empirical analysis;migration datum;flight distance;migration stocks;education level;government job;internal mobility;fixed effect;physical distance;gravity model;summary statistic;robustness check;migration costs;common language;transport network;government entity;poor household;Public Services;home state;federal government;linguistic difference;migration rate;internal migrant;measure of use;labor mobility;Public Employment;national identity;individual level;migration decision;measurement error;explanatory variable;male migrant;driving time;female migrant;high share;high migration;pull factor;total migration;geographical boundary;study estimate;educated people;unskilled migrants;empirical result;migration flow;empirical specification;female population;common land;development policy;administrative measure;construction industry;unskilled emigration;federal law;productive opportunities;poor health;safety condition;labor regulation;wage gain;aggregation bias;household head;female migration;empirical section;coastal districts;administrative barrier;unified system;populous country;aggregation problems;labor movement;consumption module;important component;skill transferability;educational level;separate state;maximization model;random utility;productive use;study including;neighbor effect;marriage reason;old people;young woman;working age;young men;social condition;natural endowment;geographic proximity;negative effect;negative coefficient;urban household;indirect barrier;indian states;nutritional deficiency;circular migration;average migration;cultural proximity;agricultural household;poor migrant;Gender Gap;age cohort;international border;potential migrant;high-skilled people;wage level;environmental change;household level;preferential admission;equal remuneration;contract labor;employment opportunities;geographic barrier;legal provision;rural area;migration incentives;community network;spatial variation;administrative boundary;census questionnaire;public hospital;Administration Agreement;entitlement program;enumeration area;employment opportunity;cross national;geographic region;empirical study;telephone service;data availability;family background;bureaucratic process;entitlements policy;social network;subsidy cost;native population;ethnolinguistic fractionalization;mathematical model;open access;residence criteria;driving distance;transportation cost;migration status;small sample;household module;skilled migrant worker;gravity estimates;national highway;alternative measure;Employment Policies;driving speed;employment policy;minority group;population center;administrative agreement;internal borders;data tables;poor infrastructure;Learning and Innovation Credit;private employment;formal employment;affirmative action;simple average;regression results;total employment;independent variable;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.


Kone,Zovanga Louis Liu,Maggie Y. Mattoo,Aaditya Ozden,Caglar Sharma,Siddharth

Internal borders and migration in India (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8244,Paper is funded by the Knowledge for Change Program (KCP),Paper is funded by the Strategic Research Program (SRP) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.