Continuity and Change: Migration and Development in India. The case of Bihar

PhD student
International Institute of Social Studies
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Start date

Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019, 16:00

End date

Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019, 17:30

Amrita Datta

On 3 April 2019, PhD researcher Amrita Datta will defend her thesis entitled 'Continuity and Change: Migration and Development in India. The case of Bihar'.

Watch this PhD defence live via ISS Livestream

Amrita Datta's research counters dominant academic and policy discourses of low internal migration in India. Drawing on long-term empirical data in a source region, her research finds evidence of high and increasing mobility from the eastern Indian state of Bihar in the period 1998 –2011. This rise in the incidence of migration from rural Bihar is accompanied by a change in its determinants.

Over time, individual factors have become more important in explaining migration. At the same time, there is evidence of increased propensity to migrate among the agricultural labouring class. Amrita Datta suggests that these changing determinants of migration from rural Bihar may be understood as a response to rising labour demand in distant urban markets elsewhere in India.



Professor Inge Hutter

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Arjun Bedi 


Dr Arjan de Haan, International Development Research Centre, Canada

Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Irudaya Rajan, Centre for Development Studies, India

Dr Priya Deshingkar, University of Sussex

Dr Ajay Bailey, Utrecht University

Professor Irene van Staveren

Dr Roy Huijsmans


The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Atrium of the ISS. Professors are invited to join the academic procession.

More information

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony.

This Public Defence may broadcast on ISS livestream. If so, you will be able to watch the Public Defence live at and later on at the ISS YouTube channel.