Research to inform the policy response to Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the livelihoods of India's most vulnerable populations, including millions of urban laborers who lost their jobs and returned to the countryside. Following a nationwide lockdown, these internal migrants fled the urban areas where they worked to return to their villages - where many confronted discrimination and struggled to access local safety nets. India's migrant population continued to face difficult decisions throughout the pandemic, often balancing economic opportunities against the health risks posed by the virus.
Nearly 1.5 years after India’s nationwide Covid-19 lockdown began, low-income migrants had not recovered their pre-pandemic incomes and reported high levels of food insecurity. Similar to other populations, female migrants particularly struggled to connect to jobs.
Since April 2020, Inclusion Economics at Yale University and the Inclusion Economics India Centre – in collaboration with researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado – have conducted a series of surveys of more than 5,000 migrants who returned to their home villages in eastern and central India following the first lockdown. The project, which is currently in its implementation phase, has provided timely insights into how migrants have fared throughout the pandemic, who has stayed in rural areas and who has returned to urban centers, and how Covid-19 has affected migrants’ livelihoods and plans for the future.
- Pande, Rohini, Simone Schaner, and Charity Troyer Moore. 2021. “Who is being excluded by India's vaccination strategy?” Yale Economic Growth Centre. Accessed August 23, 2021.
- Pande, Rohini, Simone Schaner, and Charity Troyer Moore. 2020. “In times of pandemic, PDS shops should provide rations to all.” The Indian Express, July 23, 2020.
- Barboni, Giorgia, Aashima Goyal, Rohini Pande, Natalia Rigol, Simone Schaner, Abhishek Sharma, Charity Troyer Moore, Tanya Vaidya, and Hongdi Zhao. 2020. “Expanding the scope of India's Covid-19 relief measures.” Yale Economic Growth Center, July 23, 2020.