Migration, Remittances and Poverty Reduction

  • Imtiyaz Ali
  • Abdul C. P. Jaleel
  • R. B. BhagatEmail author
Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


The role of migration and remittances sent by the migrants is a matter of debate in the existing literature on migration research. Using the nationally representative data from the 64th round of National Sample Survey, this paper contributes to the debate about the impact of internal and international remittances on poverty reduction in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In the list of states in India, these two states are often placed at the top, for their high out-migration rates and low progress in social and economic indicators. This paper begins with a discussion of migration, remittances and poverty at the household level. A huge diversity exists in the utilisation of internal and international remittances in the areas of origin. The estimate reveals that internal and international remittances not only reshape the life chances of remittances receiving households but also fulfil the diverse non-food necessities. The result from the multivariate logistic analysis shows that households from rural areas received higher remittances compared to urban area. Thus, it gives strength to absorb the risks and shocks of catastrophic health, marriage expenditure and incidence of crop failures to the rural households. In line with an optimistic view, the findings of the present study show that remittances based migration enhances the socio-economic status and reduces poverty of migrant households. Based on propensity score matching technique, the results also show that the impact of international remittances on reducing household poverty out-weigh that of the internal remittances in Uttar Pradesh, but in Bihar, domestic remittances play a significant role in reducing poverty at the household level than international remittances.


Migration Remittances Poverty Propensity score matching 


  1. Adams, R. H. (1991). The effects of international remittances on poverty, inequality, and development in rural Egypt (Vol. 86). Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, R. H., & Cuecuecha, A. (2013). The impact of remittances on investment and poverty in Ghana. World Development, 50, 24–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adams Jr, R. H., Cuecuecha, A., & Page, J. (2008). The impact of remittances on poverty and inequality in Ghana. In World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol 2008.Google Scholar
  4. Adams, R. H., & Page, J. (2005). Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries? World Development, 33(10), 1645–1669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ali, I., & Bhagat, R. B. (2016). Emigration and impact of utilisation of remittances at household level in India: A propensity score matching approach. Social Science Spectrum, 2(1), 8–19.Google Scholar
  6. de Haan, A. (1999). Livelihoods and poverty: The role of migration-a critical review of the migration literature. The Journal of Development Studies, 36(2), 1–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Haas, H. (2007). Remittances, migration and social development: A conceptual review of the literature. Social Policy and Programme Development Paper No. 34, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva.Google Scholar
  8. Dey, S. (2014). Impact of remittances on poverty at origin: A study on rural households in India using covariate balancing propensity score matching. Migration and Development. Scholar
  9. Fransen, S., & Mazzucato, V. (2014). Remittances and household wealth after conflict: A case study on urban Burundi. World Development, 60, 57–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gupta, S., Pattillo, C. A., & Wagh, S. (2009). Effect of remittances on poverty and financial development in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Development, 37(1), 104–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gustafsson, B., & Makonnen, N. (1993). Poverty remittances in Lesotho. Journal of African Economies, 2(1), 49–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jimenez-Soto, E. V., & Brown, R. P. (2012). Assessing the poverty impacts of migrants’ remittances using propensity score matching: The case of Tonga*. Economic Record, 88(282), 425–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lachaud, J. P. (2007). HIV prevalence and poverty in Africa: Micro-and macro-econometric evidences applied to Burkina Faso. Journal of Health Economics, 26(3), 483–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. López-Videla, B., & Machuca, C. E. (2014). The effects of remittances on poverty at the household level in Bolivia: a propensity score matching approach. Políticas Públicas, 2(1), 7–22.Google Scholar
  15. National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). (1993). In Housing condition and migration survey. 49th round. New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.Google Scholar
  16. National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). (2008). Migration in India (Report No. 533(64/10.2/2), 2007–08). New Delhi: National Sample Survey Organization, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, Retrieved March 2011 from
  17. Rosenbaum, P. R., & Rubin, D. B. (1983). The central role of the propensity score in observational studies for causal effects. Biometrika, 70(1), 41–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Spatafora, N. (2005). Two current issues facing developing countries. In World economic outlook A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  19. Stark, O., & Bloom, D. E. (1986). The new economics of labor migration. The American Economic Review, 75(2), 173–178.Google Scholar
  20. Stark, O., Taylor, J. E., & Yitzhaki, S. (1988). Migration, remittances and inequality: A sensitivity analysis using the extended Gini index. Journal of Development Economics, 28(3), 309–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sikder, M. J. U., & Ballis, P. H. (2013). Remittances and life chances: A study of migrant households in rural Bangladesh. Migration and Development, 2(2), 261–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tumbe, C. (2012). Migration persistence across the twentieth century India. Migration and Development, 1, 87–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. World Bank. (2004). Global development finance. Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  24. World Bank. (2008). Migration and remittances fact book 2008. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  25. World Bank. (2011). Migration and remittances factbook. Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  26. World Bank. (2014). Migration and remittances data. Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imtiyaz Ali
    • 1
  • Abdul C. P. Jaleel
    • 1
  • R. B. Bhagat
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.International Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Migration and Urban StudiesInternational Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations