Impact of Migrants’ Remittance on the ‘Left-Behind Wives’: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh

The Journal of Developing Areas, vol. 54 no. 2, 2020

16 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by Hashibul Hassan

Hashibul Hassan

Jagannath University - Department of Finance; Monash University - Department of Economics

Lubna Jebin

Jagannath University - Department of Public Administration

Date Written: May 14, 2019

Abstract

International migration - mostly through temporary job contract by male workers - has become a significant avenue to escape unemployment and poverty especially for the poor and unskilled rural Bangladeshis (Sharma and Zaman 2009). Migrants of this category usually have very little chance to settle permanently in the destination country, therefore they remit most of their income to the home country to improve the current livelihood of the ‘left-behind’ family and increase the productive capabilities of the household (Raghuram 2007). It is commonly assumed that the prevailing large male-dominated migration from Bangladesh brings extended freedom and economic participation of the women from the left-behind families. This research aims to ascertain the impact of the migration of husbands on the status of left-behind wives. The basic assumption of this study is that having husband in abroad can be viewed as ‘treatment’ and thus Propensity Score Matching (PSM) can be used to form the ‘control’ group of households without migrant husband or foreign remittance. By applying PSM on the extracted dataset from the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) 2015 (IFPRI 2016), 312 households have selected in two groups, 156 households in the treatment group and 156 in the control group. From this new matched sub-sample, women position is compared on the four different dimensions namely participation in decision-making, freedom of mobility, participation in reproductive decision and prevalence of domestic violence; and comparative difference between the groups can be considered as the impact of ‘treatment’ i.e. international migration and remittance. Evidence suggests that husbands’ migration gives left-behind wives more authority in spending decision such as food, housing, health-care, child education and clothing; increases freedom of mobility; and reduces the prevalence of domestic violence against them in compare to the peer group. On the contrary, wives of the control group enjoy higher participation in both inside- and outside-home income generating activities.

Keywords: Women Position, Propensity Score Matching, International Migration, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: D15, F22, F24, O15

Suggested Citation

Hassan, Md. Hashibul and Jebin, Lubna, Impact of Migrants’ Remittance on the ‘Left-Behind Wives’: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh (May 14, 2019). The Journal of Developing Areas, vol. 54 no. 2, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3387762

Md. Hashibul Hassan (Contact Author)

Jagannath University - Department of Finance ( email )

Dhaka
Bangladesh

HOME PAGE: http://www.jnu.ac.bd

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Lubna Jebin

Jagannath University - Department of Public Administration ( email )

Dhaka, 1100
Bangladesh

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