, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 673–698 | Cite as

The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Wealth Accumulation and Distribution in Rural Thailand

  • Filiz Garip


This article studies the impact of internal migration and remittance flows on wealth accumulation and distribution in 51 rural villages in Nang Rong, Thailand. Using data from 5,449 households, the study constructs indices of household productive and consumer assets with principal component analysis. The changes in these indices from 1994 to 2000 are modeled as a function of households’ prior migration and remittance behavior with ordinary least squares, matching, and instrumental variable methods. The findings show that rich households lose productive assets with migration, potentially because of a reduction in the labor force available to maintain local economic activities, while poor households gain productive assets. Regardless of wealth status, households do not gain or lose consumer assets with migration or remittances. These results suggest an equalizing effect of migration and remittances on wealth distribution in rural Thailand.


Migration Remittances Wealth distribution Thailand 



This research was funded by grants from the Clark Fund, Milton Fund, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (Synergy Semester Grant), and the Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University. I thank Sara Curran, Paul DiMaggio, Douglas Massey, Michael White, Viviana Zelizer, and the participants at the Conference on Immigration and Poverty at UC Davis for helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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