array(2) { [0]=> string(5) "Bihar" [1]=> string(12) "Chhattisgarh" }


Is Heading Home a Dead End? COVID-Induced Migration and Local Labor Market Opportunities in Rural India

EPoD India at LEAD at KREA University is currently conducting a research project. COVID-19-induced migration presents multiple challenges, both direct and indirect, to labor markets. For urban migrants who lose their jobs, alternatives are scarce: since many cannot survive without daily wages, they must journey back to their home villages, where employment options are already in short supply. Once home, migrants face social stigma and limited labor market opportunities. Since internal migration is often geographically concentrated, mass returns also impose large local labor market shocks on sending villages. For female migrants, these challenges can have long-term impacts on earnings and labor market participation, especially if they are later unable to return to urban areas. Our project follows a panel of returned migrants in Chhattisgarh and Bihar. We seek to understand how the lockdown has impacted migrants’ economic opportunities and well-being, and what factors determine whether they choose to re-migrate to urban areas.

Project link


  • Bihar
  • Chhattisgarh


  • Primary data collection and analysis


  • Gender-based issues
  • Livelihoods
  • Migration
  • Social Protection