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Impact of Labour Migration on Socioeconomic Position of Left-Behind Women in Bihar

Sandhya R. Mahapatro ()
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Sandhya R. Mahapatro: A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies

The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 2018, vol. 61, issue 4, No 7, 718 pages

Abstract: Abstract While migration of men improves the social position of women in the left-behind family by transferring power and autonomy, it may also reinforce gender inequality. The present study aims to explore this migration–empowerment relationship by addressing the research question of whether labour migration brings about changes in gender relations and empowers women, measured in terms of intra-household decision-making and work participation. Using India Human Development Survey (2011–12) data, the paper assesses the social impact of labour migration on left-behind women in one of the highest out-migrating states in East India (Bihar). The study finds that migration of men is unlikely to improve women’s position, as family relations are governed by the institution of patriarchy, and economic vulnerability rather than emancipation is the reason for their participation in paid nondomestic work. The social cost of labour migration thus seems to outweigh its benefit in Bihar, as it does not initiate the process of empowerment and poses financial challenges.

Keywords: Migration; Left behind; Social cost; Empowerment; Bihar (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s41027-019-00156-x

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