Home Is Where the Money Goes: Determinants and Impacts of Remittance Flows in the Ganges Brahmaputra and Mekong Delta Regions

Sylvia Szabo, University of Southampton
Zoe Matthews, University of Southampton
W Neil Adger, University of Exeter

The dominant movement of people in the mega-deltas of Asia is from agriculture-dominated rural areas to urban settlements. The spatial disparities in economic opportunity mean enhanced income for migrants, but the impacts of migration on sending areas through remittances is less established. This paper uses survey data from two delta regions with significant out-migration rates, Bangladeshi Ganges Brahmaputra and the Vietnamese Mekong delta, to investigate whether remittance income leads to enhanced multiple dimensions of well-being in sending areas. The results show that the temporal extent of out-migration is positively associated with remittances in both delta regions. The results also suggest that in both delta regions remittances have a significant positive effect on household well-being, including overall income, investments in health and food security. The paper concludes that in order to capitalise on remittance flows, it is important to set up innovative investment mechanisms supporting resilience-building in environmentally-at-risk tropical deltas.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment