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Rural-urban transformation and village economy in emerging market economies during economic crisis: Empirical evidence from Thailand

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Abstract

Livelihoods of rural households in Asia increasingly rely on off-farm income and remittances while dependence on land declines. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role of villages in emerging market economies like Thailand using a typical Thai village as a case study. Results suggest that both agricultural- and migration-oriented livelihood strategies can be useful depending on the macroeconomic conditions. In periods of economic growth, migration contributes to income growth. In spite of long periods of absence, migrants maintain strong ties to their natal village to better cope with situations of economic slowdown.

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... This mobility is largely compelled by the insufficiency of the agricultural sector to provide adequate employment opportunities (ILO, 2011). Generational differences also shape this trend, whereby younger individuals are the ones encouraged to migrate (Gödecke and Waibel, 2011;Taylor and Fletcher, 2007;Rosenzweig and Stark, 1989). Within the last two decades, the ease of movement also considerably escalated temporary migration dynamics in Southeast, South, and East Asia (De Braw, 2010;Deshingkar and Akter, 2009;Ha et al., 2009;Lam et al., 2007). ...
... In Malaysia for example, the income gap between rural and urban regions resulted in a vast exodus of rural household members migrating to urban areas to seek out work (Hussain et al., 2014). Meanwhile in Thailand, the push factors such as a lack of resource support for agriculture and increasing debt ratios were the main causes for household members to migrate (Gödecke and Waibel, 2011). In Indonesia, rural to urban migration also occurs for a variety of economic reasons (Rakodi and Firman, 2009). ...
... Rural spaces have thus transformed as part of the socioeconomic development opportunities shaped by migration. The movement of rural people, and mostly the absence of younger generations out of rural communities, has impacted the social and economic structures of most rural villages (Gödecke and Waibel, 2011). The decision-making processes for rural households to select, compel, or draw individuals to migrate are explained by various empirical micro-migration models, whereby some models focus on human capital investment models (Todaro and Maruszko, 1987;Todaro, 1976), while others focus on the more socially constructed dimensions (Nail, 2015). ...
Article
The trends of bilocality – in which an individual will spend part of the year in a rural area, and the other in an urban area – presents a unique and increasingly common manifestation of the circular migrant. In this paper, we explore the dynamics of bilocal migrants in Indonesia from a Central Java city and examine migrant points of origin in terms of their characteristics, mobility patterns, and remittance uses. Data were collected from 105 sample cases among those classified as migrants distributed across the study area. We apply the Flocktracker software for our study, which is a mobile-based application that combines online questionnaires and provides associated locational attributes. Most of the bilocal migrants continue to migrate as a strategy to address the lack of income in rural areas. Migrants not only circulate between two destinations from their rural origins to one city, but also increasingly gravitate to other cities as a multiple destination strategy depending on networks and employment availability. A key finding of this study is that overall, although migration to urban areas supports rural household incomes, it contributes in limited ways to the commonly anticipated rural development outcomes. This suggests that policy interventions are mistaking job creation and remittances as a proxy for rural development, whereas policy priorities should be looking beyond job creation to identify other ways to support development in rural areas.
... Several studies have underlined the intensity and rapidity of the decline in the economic role of agriculture in farming households with limited access to land and irrigation water in Thailand. Gödecke and Waibel (2011), Nilsen (2014), Rigg et al. (2012) and Rigg et al. (2019) investigated agrarian changes in villages in the Northern and Northeast Regions, where farming is mostly rainfed and where the average farm (between 1.9 and 2.3 ha in these studies) is smaller than the national average. ...
... Second, young people are moving out of the villages. Gödecke and Waibel (2011) and Nilsen (2014) identified a wide gap in the age pyramid at village level, as most people aged between 20 and 40 had moved to cities to find work. Third, household members increasingly find opportunities to work in factories and still come home every day (Rigg et al., 2008;. ...
... Many definitional problems can be traced to complex living arrangements (for example, polygamy) and to dynamic household boundaries (Adato et al., 2007;UNECE et al. 2007;Randall, Coast, and Leone 2011;). In particular, in areas characterised by frequent migration, some members come and go several times during the survey reference period and further complicate the calculation of household characteristics and poverty statistics (Guyer 1981;Gödecke and Waibel 2011).Ünalan (2005)demonstrated that the application of a broader definition that included both persons currently living in the household and those temporarily living elsewhere led to higher average household sizes and identified more migrants.Halliday (2010)showed that demographic variables might be measured inaccurately if the survey data do not capture changes in household composition during the reference period.Schiff (2008)demonstrated that failing to account for changes in household size caused by migration can lead to significant underestimations of migration's impact on income and poverty. In this article, we focus on the effects of altering the residency criterion for household members on the welfare indicators and identification errors of targeted intervention programmes. ...
... Temporary migration and multi-location households are both common in the village due to its relative proximity to the Bangkok job market. The village is considered typical of rural settlements in many parts of north and northeast Thailand (Gödecke and Waibel 2011). A comparison of the village characteristics (such as household income, population, family size and age structure) with the mean values for the district and province indicate that the village reflects the typical characteristics of the province (MOI 2005). ...
Article
Based on a unique dataset for a rural Thai village, this article investigates the relationship between the definition of household and how rural development, poverty reduction and social protection programmes are targeted. In particular, this case study simulates the effects of altering the residency criterion of the household definition, that is, the duration of residence, on household welfare statistics. We show that identification errors in development programmes are frequently caused by alternative residency criteria. We conclude that applying a multi-location definition of household may lead to more accurate government budgeting in countries characterised by frequent migration.
... Economic downturns trigger shifts in migration processes with short and long-term impacts on source and destination economies. The Asian economic crisis of the late 2000s, for example, led to significant urban-to-rural return migration, reversing decades of prior movements and truncating land use transformation processes (Gödecke and Waibel, 2011;Rigg et al., 2018). The unprecedented level of travel restrictions implemented in many countries due to COVID-19 affected migrants in multiple ways. ...
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Research on the impacts of COVID-19 on mobility has focused primarily on the increased health vulnerabilities of involuntary migrant and displaced populations. But virtually all migration flows have been truncated and altered because of reduced economic and mobility opportunities of migrants. Here we use a well-established framework of migration decision-making, whereby individual decisions combine the aspiration and ability to migrate, to explain how public responses to the COVID-19 pandemic alter migration patterns among urban populations across the world. The principal responses to COVID-19 pandemic that affected migration are: 1) through travel restrictions and border closures, 2) by affecting abilities to move through economic and other means, and 3) by affecting aspirations to move. Using in-depth qualitative data collected in six cities in four continents (Accra, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dhaka, Maputo, and Worcester), we explore how populations with diverse levels of education and occupations were affected in their current and future mobility decisions. We use data from interviews with sample of internal and international migrants and non-migrants during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic outbreak to identify the mechanisms through which the pandemic affected their mobility decisions. The results show common processes across the different geographical contexts: individuals perceived increased risks associated with further migration, which affected their migration aspirations, and had reduced abilities to migrate, all of which affected their migration decision-making processes. The results also reveal stark differences in perceived and experienced migration decision-making across precarious migrant groups compared to high-skilled and formally employed international migrants in all settings. This precarity of place is particularly evident in low-income marginalised populations.
... The focus on the impact of migration on the economy lacks holistic perspective. (Godecke and Waibel 2011)]. In other words, what is essential are more empirical studies and evidence to study and explain the effects of migration on both the rural village and the migrants in their urban environment (Amare et al. 2012).There is a growing realization that it makes immense ecological sense to maintain the self-sufficient economies of rural and remote communities. ...
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Traditional rural societies which are largely pre industrial, displays self sufficiency and symbiosis between its culture, heritage and economy. This symbiotic relationship fostered a healthy biodiversity. The growth of consumerism and focus on economic growth often threatens the traditional self-sufficiency of rural communities. Majuli, one of the largest inhabited river islands and home to numerous self-sufficient indigenous communities, is a good example of man nature symbiosis. Present day emphasis on economic determinism and a consumerist culture threatens its biodiversity and self-sufficiency. Reckless natural resources exploitation, increased chemical use in agriculture and labour out migration threaten the sustainability and bio-diversity of the island.
... People who inherit farmland from their ancestors generally wish to pass it on to their offspring. In addition, many rural households keep their land as a secure asset, particularly given the unstable context of off-farm employment (Gödecke and Waibel, 2011;Rigg et al., 2014). ...
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A farmer’s decision to adopt sustainable land management practices often takes place in a changing context. In the Northeast Region of Thailand, rural areas face a deagrarianization process and the dominant farming system – small-scale rice farming under rainfed conditions – is losing its role as the main provider of household income. The study applies a mixed approach to investigate the reasons why farmers adopt sustainable land management practices in this region. This approach involved a quantitative assessment of factors that influence adoption and a qualitative analysis of local actors’ opinions regarding these reasons. Two major reasons were identified: the engagement in diversifying production and the willingness to reduce the amount of time household members spend farming. These two reasons relate to two strategies farmers use to adapt to ongoing changes: getting involved in changing the farm or maintaining it while limiting the effort they spend running the farm. Initiatives to enhance the uptake of sustainable land management practices in the Northeast Region of Thailand would benefit from structuring the support provided taking these two strategies into account.
... Among the various land cover changes, urbanized areas are the most severe form. Urbanization is the process of transforming agriculturally oriented areas into non-agricultural forms by changing the land use structures [2,3]. Unreasonable urbanization may cause serious ecological produced during the Republic of China, an exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) in the ArcGIS platform is used to perform a spatial analysis and area calculation. ...
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The pattern of urban land use and the level of urbanization in China’s pre-modernization period are of great significance for land use and land cover change (LUCC) research. The purpose of this study is to construct a 1910s spatial dataset of provincial land urbanization in pre-modern China. Using historical topographic maps, this study quantitatively reconstructs the built-up area of various cities in Zhejiang Province in the 1910s. The research indicates that: (1) During the early period of the Republic of China, there were a total of 252 cities and towns in Zhejiang Province, including 75 cities at or above the county level, 21 acropolis, and 156 towns. The total built-up area was 140.590 km2. (2) The county-level urbanization level had significant agglomeration characteristics. The overall urbanization rate of land was 0.135%. (3) Hot spots analysis showed that the Hang-Jia-Hu-Shao plain is hot spot. (4) The correlation coefficient between the city wall perimeter data recorded in the local chronicles and the measured city wall perimeter was 0.908. The research showed that the military topographic maps possessed a good application prospect for the reconstruction of urbanization levels. The research results provide direct evidence for urbanization and urban land use in China’s pre-modernization period.
... Much of the employment that characterises non-farm work in Thailand is casual, or 'precarious' (Standing, 2011;Standing, 2013). At times of economic or environmental crisis -such as the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998(de Jong, Knippenberg, Ayuwat, & Promphakping, 2012, the global financial crisis of 2007-2008(Gödecke & Waibel, 2011, and the devastating Central Thai floods of 2011 (http://socialistworker.org/2011/11/03/thaiflood-crisis-worsens) -the experience is that hundreds of thousands of workers are laid off with little protection or insurance either from the state or their former employers. Social protection for the elderly is limited to a quite modest Old Age Allowance, introduced in 2009. ...
... Nilsen (2014) and Gödeke NIDA Development Journal Vol. 57 No. 4/2017 and Waibel (2011) identified a wide gap in the age pyramid of villages in the Northern Province where most people aged between 20 and 40 had moved to cities in order to find a job. Second, for many small-scale farms, farming has become one of many incomegenerating activities. ...
Article
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A vast amount of research has focused on the dynamics of the Thai agricultural sector and rural areas. The study describes two narratives that have emerged from the existing research. One narrative portrays a thriving innovative agricultural sector, striving to develop systems to promote and guarantee good agricultural practices. The other narrative depicts a dwindling agricultural sector with an ageing farming population or where farmers have diverse non-farming activities and where farming no longer constitutes a major source of income. Most research studies fail to consider the link between the two apparently contradictory narratives. Similarly, recent national development plans in Thailand make reference to both narratives, without establishing a formal link between the two. This study proposes how future research could be oriented to establish a link to further our understanding of the current changes taking place in the agricultural sector and in rural areas in Thailand.
... When the younger and economically more active population moves out of agriculture a decline in production and productivity can result unless structural change and agricultural modernization is facilitated. Most empirical studies on migration investigate either the impact on urban development or on the rural areas (e.g., Brown and Jimenez 2008, Shen et al. 2010, Goedecke and Waibel 2011. Hence, there is a need for more empirical evidence of the effects of migration on both the rural village and on the prospects of the migrants in their urban environment. ...
... When the younger and economically more active population moves out of agriculture a decline in production and productivity can result unless structural change and agricultural modernization is facilitated. Most empirical studies on migration investigate either the impact on urban development or on the rural areas (e.g., Brown and Jimenez 2008, Shen et al. 2010, Goedecke and Waibel 2011. Hence, there is a need for more empirical evidence of the effects of migration on both the rural village and on the prospects of the migrants in their urban environment. ...
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This study investigates the effects of rural–urban migration on economic development in Thailand. It draws upon a panel database of 2,000 rural households collected from 2008 to 2010 in three provinces from Northeast Thailand and a survey of 650 migrants in the Greater Bangkok area conducted in 2010. The study offers some new findings on migration in Thailand. First, there is evidence that there is a need for better social protection for urban migrants. Second, the study shows that migration offers the benefit of income growth for rural households but is less effective in reducing inequality and relative poverty in rural areas. Generally, migrants are more educated albeit at an overall low education level in the rural areas. The message emerging from this paper is that poor rural households tend to produce poor migrants which could be one of the reasons for the continuous existence of a wide rural–urban divide in welfare. The crucial importance of good quality education for migrants to achieve higher quality
... When the younger and economically more active population moves out of agriculture a decline in production and productivity can result unless structural change and agricultural modernization is facilitated. Most empirical studies on migration investigate either the impact on urban development or on the rural areas (e.g., Brown and Jimenez 2008, Shen et al. 2010, Goedecke and Waibel 2011. Hence, there is a need for more empirical evidence of the effects of migration on both the rural village and on the prospects of the migrants in their urban environment. ...
... When the younger and economically more active population moves out of agriculture a decline in production and productivity can result unless structural change and agricultural modernization is facilitated. Most empirical studies on migration investigate either the impact on urban development or on the rural areas (e.g., Brown and Jimenez 2008, Shen et al. 2010, Goedecke and Waibel 2011. Hence, there is a need for more empirical evidence of the effects of migration on both the rural village and on the prospects of the migrants in their urban environment. ...
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This study investigates the effects of rural-urban migration on economic development in Thailand. It draws upon a panel database of 2,000 rural households collected from 2008 to 2010 in three provinces from Northeast Thailand and a survey of 650 migrants in the Greater Bangkok area conducted in 2010. The study offers some new findings on migration in Thailand. First, there is evidence that there is a need for better social protection for urban migrants. Second, the study shows that migration offers the benefit of income growth for rural households but is less effective in reducing inequality and relative poverty in rural areas. Generally, migrants are more educated albeit at an overall low education level in the rural areas. The message emerging from this paper is that poor rural households tend to produce poor migrants which could be one of the reasons for the continuous existence of a wide rural-urban divide in welfare. The crucial importance of good quality education for migrants to achieve higher quality employment calls for more investment in education quality in rural areas.
... When the younger and economically more active population moves out of agriculture a decline in production and productivity can result unless structural change and agricultural modernization is facilitated. Most empirical studies on migration investigate either the impact on urban development or on the rural areas (e.g., Brown and Jimenez 2008, Shen et al. 2010, Goedecke and Waibel 2011. Hence, there is a need for more empirical evidence of the effects of migration on both the rural village and on the prospects of the migrants in their urban environment. ...
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This study investigates the effects of rural urban migration on economic development in Thailand. It draws upon a panel data base of some 2000 rural households collected from 2007 to 2010 in three provinces from Northeast Thailand and migrant survey of some 650 migrants in the Greater Bangkok area conducted in 2010. The study offers some new findings on migration in Thailand. First there is evidence that the widely praised social protection policies for the rural poor in Thailand may be less effective for urban migrants. Second, the study shows that migration has benefits for income growth of rural households but is less effective in reducing inequality and relative poverty in rural areas. Generally the less favored rural households tend to have migrants who are more educated albeit at an overall low education level of the rural population in Thailand. The overall message which emerges from this paper is that poor rural households tend to produce poor migrants which could be one of the reasons for the continuous existence of a wide rural urban divide in welfare. The crucial importance of education for migration success calls for more investment in secondary education in rural areas. --
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This study investigates the effects of rural–urban migration on economic development in Thailand. It draws upon a panel database of 2,000 rural households collected from 2008 to 2010 in three provinces from Northeast Thailand and a survey of 650 migrants in the Greater Bangkok area conducted in 2010. The study offers some new findings on migration in Thailand. First, there is evidence that there is a need for better social protection for urban migrants. Second, the study shows that migration offers the benefit of income growth for rural households but is less effective in reducing inequality and relative poverty in rural areas. Generally, migrants are more educated albeit at an overall low education level in the rural areas. The message emerging from this paper is that poor rural households tend to produce poor migrants which could be one of the reasons for the continuous existence of a wide rural–urban divide in welfare. The crucial importance of good quality education for migrants to achieve higher quality employment calls for more investment in education quality in rural areas.
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Chapter
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The purpose of this discussion is to develop the concepts and tools with which to determine the influence of migration as an equilibrating mechanism in a changing economy. Some of the important costs and returns to migration--both public and private--are identified and to a limited extent methods for estimating them are devised. This treatment places migration in a resource allocation framework because it deals with migration as a means to promoting efficient resource allocation and because migration is an activity which requires resources. Within this framework the goal is to determine the return to investment in migration rather than to relate rates of migration to income differentials. The studies of net migration conducted thus far partially reveal the functioning of the labor market yet they provide little more than the fact that net migration is in the "right" direction. The estimated response magnitude of net migration to gaps in earnings is of little value in gauging the effectiveness of migration as an equilibrator. There are several alternative approaches. 1 simple approach is to compare rates of (gross) migration with changes in earnings over time. Numerous compositional corrections would be required and this approach would still have to answer the difficult question of how much equalization of earnings should be brought about by a given amount of migration. A better alternative at least analytically is to cast the problem strictly as one of resource allocation. To do this migration is treated as an investment increasing the productivity of human resources an investment which has costs and which also renders returns. The private costs can be broken down into money and nonmoney costs. The money costs include out of pocket expenses of movement and the nonmoney costs include foregone earnings and the psychic costs of changing ones environment. For any particular indivdual the money returns to migration will consist of a positive or negative increment to his real earnings streams to be obtained by moving to another place. This increment will arise from a change in nominal earnings a change in costs of employment a change in prices or a combination of these three. It was found that psychic costs of migration can be ignored since they involve no resource cost. Likewise nonmoney returns arising from locational preferences should be ignored to the extent that they represent consumption which has a zero cost of production. In sum migration cannot be viewed in isolation. Complementary investments in the human agent are probably as important or more important than the migration process itself.
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This paper presents a conceptual framework for analyzing international illegal migration from developing countries. The model postulates that the decision to migrate is some function of the expected income differential between the home and destination countries, where this differential comprises not only home and destination wage and unemployment rates, but also two new variables unique to decisionmaking by illegal migrants--the probability of capture and deportation and the degree of wage discrimination against illegal workers. The model implies that illegal migration responds to a variety of economic and noneconomic variables that are either negligible or nonexistent in an analysis of internal domestic and legal international migration. Through a simulation that reflects the current environment in which illegal migration from Mexico into the United States takes place, the model is used to evaluate the impact of the 1986 Simpson--Rodino Immigration Reform and Control Act designed to curb the inflow of illegal migrants through the imposition of employer penalties and increased border apprehension. The simulation reveals some major weaknesses of the legislation.
Article
Contemporary immigration patterns represent a sharp break from the past, when international movements were dominated by flows out of Europe to a few key destination areas. Europe has now become a region of immigration, and, like other developed regions, it draws migrants from a variety of Third World countries. The large-scale movement of immigrants from devel oping to developed regions has both economic and social foundations. Econom ically, immigration originates not from simple wage differentials between poor and rich countries but from the spread of economic development to rapidly growing Third World populations and from a persistent demand for low-wage workers in developed nations. Immigration has many social foundations, but the formation of migrant networks is probably the most important. Networks build into the migration process a self-perpetuating momentum that leads to its growth over time, in spite of fluctuating wage differentials, recessions, and increasingly restrictive immigration policies in developed countries.
Article
This article provides theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence that international migration decisions are influenced by relative as well as absolute income considerations. Potential gains in absolute income through migration are likely to play an important role in households’ migration decisions, but international migration by household members who hold promise for success as labor migrants can also be an effective strategy to improve a household’s income position relative to others in the household’s reference group. The findings reported in this article provide empirical support for the hypothesis that relative deprivation plays a significant role in Mexico-to-U. S. migration decisions. The findings also suggest that this migration is an effective mechanism for achieving income gains in households that send migrants to the U.S. and that households wisely choose as migrants those of their members who are most likely to provide net income gains.
Article
Lives and livelihoods in the Rural South are becoming increasingly divorced from farming and, therefore, from the land. Patterns and associations of wealth and poverty have become more diffuse and diverse as non-farm opportunities have expanded and heightened levels of mobility have led to the delocalization of livelihoods. This, in turn, has had ramifications for the production and reproduction of poverty in the countryside, which is becoming progressively de-linked from agricultural resources. This requires a reconsideration of some old questions regarding how best to achieve pro-poor development in the Rural South.
Article
A significant proportion of migration in low-income countries, particularly in rural areas, is composed of moves by women for the purpose of marriage. The authors seek to explain these mobility patterns based on a framework in which the marriage of daughters to locationally distant, dispersed yet kinship-related households is a manifestation of implicit interhousehold contractual arrangements aimed at mitigating income risks and facilitating consumption smoothing in an environment characterized by information costs and spatially covariant risks. Analyses of longitudinal data on consumption patterns, income, and marital arrangements in South Indian households lend support to the theory. Copyright 1989 by University of Chicago Press.
Article
This paper joins a few very recent attempts to analyze migration in the awareness of the family context. In contrast to most of them, my focus is exclusively on the family context. The paper defines family ties relevant to migration decisions and explains their effects on the probability of migration, on consequent changes in employment and earnings of family members, as well as on family integrity itself. Hopefully, the paper provides material for a missing chapter on family economics as well as an addition to the economics of labor supply arid of human capital formation.
Article
How to improve healthcare access for Chinese migrants? We show that the social network is a major key. It uses a 2006 dataset from a survey of rural migrant workers conducted in five cities amongst the most economically advanced. We use a fixed effect logit model and we control for the non-exogeneity of the health insurance. The empirical findings support the hypothesis of return to the hometown for migrant workers with deteriorated health. The residence registration system and the importance of family/relative support in the outcome of the treatment incent them to then leave the city. Besides the level of income, the social integration of migrant workers is such a decisive criteria of the access to healthcare. Politicies aiming at improving the latter should involve organisations working at the local level, such as the resident committees.
Article
The focus of this paper is on the rural poor of south Asia and their struggle to cope with the seasonal risk of unemployment and the ensuing income risks. In the absence of formal credit or insurance markets the rural poor typically resort to, among other options, the following informal strategies to cope with seasonal income risks: (i) seasonal rural-to-urban migration, and (ii) mutual (ex-post) transfers between families of friends and relatives. Access to credit through a microfinance institution could also provide a competing source of insurance. The question raised in this paper is how the access to credit may affect the more traditional/time honoured means of risk coping, such as seasonal migration. Given that credit, i.e., a creditfinanced activity, is potentially a substitute for seasonal migration, it is reasonable to argue that easy access to credit (or high return on credit) will lower the incidence of migration. However, there also exists a potential complementarity between the two activities (if implemented jointly) in terms of gains due to diversification of income risks. That is, given that income from migration is not typically subject to the same shocks as income generated by a credit-financed activity, a joint adoption of both activities creates opportunities for diversification of risk in the family incomes portfolio. If the diversification gains are large enough then the adoption of both activities jointly will be preferred to adopting either of the activities individually. In that event, introduction of microfinance in rural societies may result in raising the incidence of migration. The joint adoption case for rural households is modelled using a choice theoretic framework, and exact conditions are derived for when joint adoption is preferable to adoption of a single project. The model of joint adoption is estimated by applying a Bivariate Probit regression model on a single cross-section of household survey data from rural Bangladesh. Our prel
Article
This article provides theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence that international migration decisions are influenced by relative as well as absolute income considerations. Potential gains in absolute income through migration are likely to play an important role in households' migration decisions, but international migration by household members who hold promise for success as labor migrants can also be an effective strategy to improve a household's income position relative to others in the household's reference group. The findings reported in this article provide empirical support for the hypothesis that relative deprivation plays a significant role in Mexico-to-U.S. migration decisions. The findings also suggest that this migration is an effective mechanism for achieving income gains in households that send migrants to the U.S. and that households wisely choose as migrants those of their members who are most likely to provide net income gains.
Article
This review culls disparate elements from the theoretical and research literature on human migration to argue for the construction of a theory of migration that simultaneously incorporates multiple levels of analysis within a longitudinal perspective. A detailed review of interconnections among individual behavior, household strategies, community structures, and national political economies indicates that inter-level and inter-temporal dependencies are inherent to the migration process and give it a strong internal momentum. The dynamic interplay between network growth and individual migration labor, migration remittances, and local income distributions all create powerful feedback mechanisms that lead to the cumulative causation of migration. These mechanisms are reinforced and shaped by macrolevel relationships within the larger political economy.
Article
The social process of network growth helps to explain the rapid increase in the migration of Mexicans to the United States during the 1970s. Migrant networks are webs of social ties that link potential migrants in sending communities to people in receiving societies, and their existence lowers the costs of international movement. With each person that becomes a migrant, the cost of migration is reduced for a set of friends and relatives, inducing them to migrate and further expanding the network. As a result of this dynamic interaction, network connections to the United States have become widespread throughout Mexico, and the probability of international migration from that country is high.
Article
This article aims to examine the factors contributing to the increase in household income and the corresponding reduction in poverty in rural Thai villages from 1987 to 2004 by employing household panel data. It is found that there has been a significant structural shift of household income away from farm to nonfarm income sources, as well as a reduction in the income gap and the difference in poverty incidence between favorable and unfavorable regions. Such decreases in poverty and its regional gap have been associated with the declining importance of income accrued to farm land, measured by farm size and the availability of irrigation, and with the increasing importance of human capital, measured by the proportion of working members who have graduated from post lower secondary schools. Such findings indicate that the success in rural poverty reduction in Thailand has resulted from the development of the rural nonfarm sector coupled with the improvement of the schooling levels of the rural population. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists.
Article
This paper constructs a model of saving for retired single people that includes heterogeneity in medical expenses and life expectancies, and bequest motives. We estimate the model using Assets and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old data and the method of simulated moments. Out-of-pocket medical expenses rise quickly with age and permanent income. The risk of living long and requiring expensive medical care is a key driver of saving for many higher-income elderly. Social insurance programs such as Medicaid rationalize the low asset holdings of the poorest but also benefit the rich by insuring them against high medical expenses at the ends of their lives. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..
Article
The importance of absolute income and relative deprivation incentives is examined for internal and international migration in developing country households. Empirical results, based on Mexican village data, support the hypothesis that households' relative deprivation in the village reference group is significant in explaining migration by household members to destinations where a reference group substitution is unlikely and the returns to migration are high. Independent of relative deprivation, village households wisely pair their members with the labor markets in which the returns to their human capital are likely to be greatest. The results suggest that a specific type of migration constitutes a response to a specific configuration of variables, and the role of relative deprivation appears to differ for internal and international migration. Taking relative deprivation into account when studying migration is shown to have important implications for development policy. For example, economic development that does not redress intra-village income inequalities may become associated with more migration. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.
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Remittances and Development in Mexico Part One: The New Labour Economics of Migration: A Critical Review Available online at: http://www.reap.ucdavis.edu/rural-mexico-research-review
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