Exploring Multi-Dimensional Wellbeing and Remittances in El Salvador

MGSoG Working Paper No. 002

54 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2008

See all articles by Jessica Hagen‐Zanker

Jessica Hagen‐Zanker

Maastricht University; Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Mirtha Rosaura Muniz Castillo

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

El Salvador has experienced high and increasing migration outflows during the last three decades, fuelled by the civil war in the 1980s and currently by a lack of economic opportunities. In parallel, family remittances have grown to represent 16.1 percent of GDP in 2004. In this context, it is relevant to explore the wellbeing of individuals in households receiving remittances. In this paper, we propose an alternative measure of multi-dimensional wellbeing based on the capability approach that focuses on functionings or achievements of individuals in valuable dimensions of life, such as life and physical health and social relations. From the multipurpose household survey (EHPM), we select feasible indicators for these dimensions which we aggregated using the Fuzzy Sets theory. We analyse wellbeing of different population groups in the selected dimensions of life. We find interesting differences in wellbeing between urban and rural households and male and female headed households. Finally, we analyse wellbeing for individuals in households depending on migration and remittances status. Households that receive remittances do show higher wellbeing, and those that are non-poor and receive remittances perform better than all other groups. The difference is higher in the dimensions of security, shelter and environment and in social relations. This is the first application of Fuzzy Sets theory to measure multi-dimensional wellbeing in El Salvador, based on the EHPM. We recommend the inclusion of additional indicators in the questionnaire and a further exploration of this method to assess wellbeing of different population groups in order to support a more precise definition of social protection policies.

Keywords: wellbeing, capabilities and functionings, migration, remittances, fuzzy sets

JEL Classification: F22, I31, I32, R20

Suggested Citation

Hagen-Zanker, Jessica and Hagen-Zanker, Jessica and Muniz Castillo, Mirtha Rosaura, Exploring Multi-Dimensional Wellbeing and Remittances in El Salvador (August 2006). MGSoG Working Paper No. 002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1095706 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1095706

Jessica Hagen-Zanker (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
PO Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.governance.unimaas.nl

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

111 Westminister Bridge Rd.
London, SE17JD
United Kingdom

Mirtha Rosaura Muniz Castillo

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
PO Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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