Our new publication exploring the complementary potential of MGNREGA and internal labour migration in Tamil Nadu was recently published online in the European Journal of Development Research.
Dodd, W., Wyngaarden, S., Humphries, S., Patel, K., Majowicz, S., Little, M., & Dewey, C. (in press). The relationship between MGNREGA and internal labour migration in Tamil Nadu, India. European Journal of Development Research. doi:10.1057/s41287-017-0122-3
India’s constitution contains provisions for the ‘right to work’ and the ‘right to movement’
for all citizens. Established in 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is broadly considered to operationalize this ‘right to work’. At the same time, a public discourse persists that views MGNREGA as a substitute for internal labour migration. Drawing on the results from 300 household surveys in three panchayats in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, we test the validity of this discourse in this setting. We find that households that rely exclusively on MGNREGA have different demographic and socioeconomic characteristics compared to households that rely exclusively on remittances from internal labour migration. Furthermore, 20 per cent of households surveyed use
both MGNREGA and internal labour migration as complementary livelihood strategies. We argue that there is a need for better understanding and recognition of the complementary potential of MGNREGA and internal labour migration.