A Longitudinal Analysis of Health and Mortality in a Migrant-Sending Region of Bangladesh

Randall Kuhn, University of Colorado at Boulder

Recent theoretical and methodological advances have facilitated analysis of migration's impact on the health and well-being of family members left behind by migrants. This paper addresses the impact of children's migration on health and survival among older respondents to the Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey. These data, collected in a migration-prone region of rural Bangladesh in 1996, are linked to mortality events through an ongoing Demographic Surveillance System. Results show that children's internal and international migration have positive effects on health and survival, yet the effects operate entirely through son's migration in this traditionally patrilineal society. While migrant schooling can explain for the internal migrant effect, international migration effects cannot be explained by education or by transfer/remittance measures in the survey year. The failure to find any relationship between transfers and survival raises questions about the relevance of cross-sectional remittance measures as indicators of support from migrants.

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Presented in Session 147: Migration, Urbanization, and Health