Never Far from Home: Parental Assets and Migrant Transfers in Matlab, Bangladesh
Working Paper series 01-12
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Over the past generation, Bangladesh has experienced rapid transitions in mobility and fertility. In contrast to those of other Asian nations, these transitions have occurred largely in the absence of rapid economic development. As transition persists, there is concern that migrant financial transfers, a major source of parental support in many areas, will not persist. Of particular concern are 1 the possibility that transfer relationships, typically tied to broader forms of economic cooperation between migrants and origin households, will weaken as rural resources weaken relative to urban ones and 2 that declining family size and declining family diversity will make it difficult for sons, and increasingly daughters, to spread the obligations of parental support between children and over the life course. The analysis uses descriptive results to demonstrate the importance of financial transfers in Matlab, a rural area of particularly high migration intensity. Statistical models then predict the determinants of parental receipt of any transfer and of transfer value in terms of characteristics of the parent and the adult child. In doing so, the models demonstrate migrants dual obligations in looking after their parents security as well as their own. While results demonstrate the robustness of the Bangladeshi family, they introduce cause for concern about the effectiveness of parental support mechanisms as well as the economic costs of demographic transition.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law