Pazhichayil Karakkad, Govindaprasad (2017). 'Migration, Remittances and Inequality: A Case of Two Villages in Kerala' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Cape Town 2017.


The relationship between migration, remittance and inequality have been analysed by several scholars in economics. Most of the studies focussed on how the migration and remittances lead to economic inequality in the source country. Among this, a group of scholars such as Garip, Semyonov and Gorodzeisky and Barham and Boucher argues that migration and remittances widened economic inequality in the source country. As against this Taylor, Davis, Zhu and Luo are of the view that migration and remittance has an egalitarian effect in the source country. As mentioned earlier most of these studies focussed on the economic inequalities in the source country. So these studies are single dimensional and not capture all the dynamics of the relationship between migration, remittances and inequality. The economic inequality in a society depends on the real opportunity that different persons enjoy. This in turn influenced by variations of individual’s circumstances and also by natural and the social environment (Sen,2008). So that, to have a clear understanding of the impact of migration, remittances on inequality a multi-dimensional approach is required. To fill this research gap the present study tries to analyse the impact of migration and remittances on inequality in the two villages (having the high density of migration) in Kerala by using social inequality index. This index consists of five core variables such as income, health, education and perceived access to health care and education. Kerala is one of the state in India having a large number of migrants and receiving large volumes of remittances. As per Kerala Migration survey, there are 36.5 lakhs non-resident Keralites in the year 2014. The total remittances contributed in the year 2014 is Rs.71142 crore and the share of this remittances as a percentage of NSDP of Kerala is 36.3. The survey also shows that there is a northward shift in the district-wise origin of emigrants from Kerala. This shows that there is a chance of concentration of economic and social asset in the hands of migrants and their family alone. There is few study has been done to analyse the impact of migration on inequality. John (2016) in his study found that migration causes inequalities in mobility between migrant and non-migrant households and between different types of migrant households. The major limitation of this study is that the analysis based on the asset based Standard of Living Index. The three major components of this Index is house characteristics, consumer durable characteristics and land size. So the present study tries to trace out the impact of migration and remittances on the economic and social inequality in the two villages of Kasaragod District, Kerala based on the social inequality index (Binelli et.al,2015). The sample size of the study is 100 households. This includes both migrant and non-migrant household. The respondent will be the head of the household. The objective of the paper is 1) to analyse the impact of migration and remittances on the social and economic conditions of the household, 2) Analyse the role of Migration and remittances in its impact on social inequality between the migrant household and non-migrant household 3) to analyse the social and economic inequality persist among the migrant household.

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