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Seasonal Migration and Mitigating Income Seasonality In Northwest Bangladesh

Author

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  • Shahidur R. Khandker
  • Baqui Khalily
  • Hussain Samad

Abstract

The poor households in the northwest region of Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to the seasonal food deprivation locally known as monga. Households adopt different strategies to cope with monga, including the advance sale of labor or crop as well as seasonal out-migration. Some 36 percent of poor households migrate out from this region every year to seek employment elsewhere in Bangladesh. This article examines the factors influencing the decision to migrate and its impact on consumption smoothing. An analysis of a large household survey data shows that household and community characteristics determine the probability of out-migration during the lean season. The probability is high for households with high dependency ratio, high dependency on wage employment, and in villages where unemployment rate is high. Access to micro-credit programs reduces the probability of migration perhaps because of alternative employment opportunities created with borrowing from microfinance institutions. More importantly, seasonal migration does help smooth consumption, and migrant families are better off than non-migrant families in mitigating seasonal hardship.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahidur R. Khandker & Baqui Khalily & Hussain Samad, 2010. "Seasonal Migration and Mitigating Income Seasonality In Northwest Bangladesh," Working Papers 5, Institute of Microfinance (InM).
  • Handle: RePEc:imb:wpaper:5
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