A small urban street in urban India

Mobility and Tenure Choice in Urban India

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Across countries, renting has been chosen by the young, the single and, more generally, the mobile, over ownership. In this paper, the authors use district-level data to draw inferences about the determinants of mobility and tenure choice throughout India, and whether these determinants are stable across time. Comparing regression results between 2001 and 2011, we see that the relationship between migration and tenure choice is not stable. Although there is no association between migration and renting homes in 2001, the authors find that migrants in 2011 were 11 percent less likely to be renters. This negative relationship between renting and migration is driven by women migrating for marriage – who account for almost 50 percent of all migrants. These results suggest that women who move at marriage have a 36 percent lower chance of renting. Migrant men, on the other hand, are more likely to move for economic reasons and have a 27 percent higher probability of renting homes. The paper also finds that the determinants of renting do not forecast 2011 from 2001 estimates very well, indicating demographic shifts and changes in tastes and preferences in this time period.