Household Level Predictors and Migration: A Micro-Demographic Study of Karen Villages along the Thai-Myanmar Border

Daniel Parker, Pennsylvania State University
James W. Wood, Pennsylvania State University
Shinsuke Tomita, Kyoto University
Sharon DeWitte, University of South Carolina
Jeeraphat Sirichaisintop, Vector Borne Disease Training Center, Thailand
Liwang Cui, Pennsylvania State University

Household composition is expected to be important with regard to migration decisions. This is perhaps especially the case in small agricultural societies in developing regions where a household faced with scarce resources may have few options for dealing with such scarcity. During times of scarcity, some household members may migrate in search of work or other resources, potentially sending home remittances or returning with goods. In this study we examine individual, household, and village level factors associated with out-migration. Our study population consists of four ethnic Karen villages along the Thai-Myanmar border. We find that households with larger numbers of household members, as well has households with low dependency ratios, are more likely to have household members migrate out. This study has important implications for demographic and anthropological theory as it provides empirical evidence to support the idea that household structure influences migration decisions.

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Presented in Poster Session 3