This study examines, in a developing-country context, the nature of the linkages between deforestation, land degradation and the movement of population from one region to another. While it is usually hypothesized that environmental degradation leads to stress migration from rural areas, changes in institutional arrangements and the subsequent regeneration of land and water may change the situation, decreasing the attractiveness of the option to migrate. Primary data from six villages in Rajasthan (a region in Western India) are used to set up alternative models using OLS, logit and 3SLS systems methods to test alternative forms of the hypotheses. It is found that the proper specification of group property rights, as a consequence of the existence of non-governmental organizations, does reduce migration. Further, a household's decisions to migrate and/or to participate in common property right creation are interrelated, being parts of its labour force allocation decisions. Other variables influencing household decisions to participate are levels of asset ownership, degree of dependence on common land and level of education.