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Remittances from an absent husband: The effects of international labor migration to the Persian Gulf on family dynamics in Chitwan, Nepal

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Ellen Compernolle

Given continued economic instability in Nepal, individuals are increasingly migrating to Persian Gulf countries in search of more stable employment opportunities. Preliminary analyses suggest that the majority of these individuals are married men with children who are signing two-year labor contracts, some with the intention of extending the contract for another term. While researchers tend to emphasize the financial benefits of remittances sent home, little has been done to understand the broader effects of international migration on family dynamics. Taking advantage of the Chitwan Valley Family Study data, a longitudinal panel study, this project dives deeper into how male labor migration abroad influences household finances and spousal relations. More broadly, I intend to focus on how remittances and an absent husband lead to changes in women's socioeconomic position and subsequent changes in consumption, including land use, land cover, and energy use. Findings from this project will shed light on how labor out-migration, an increasing phenomenon in South Asia, affects family dynamics and local resources, informing future research on the interrelationship between population, development and climate change.

Funding Period: 03/01/2013 to 06/30/2014

Country of Focus: Nepal

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