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Impact of migration on nutritional condition of the rural households in Bangladesh

The purpose of this study is to find out whether worker’s remittance has contributed in improving the nutritional condition in the rural households of Bangladesh. The earning sent by the expatriates has significant contribution in the economy of Bangladesh. In FY 2014-15 about 4.61 lakh workers went abroad in quest for job and Bangladesh earned remittances of US$ 15, 316.91 million in that year (Bangladesh Economic Review, 2015, p.29) .This amount of remittance was equal to 7.8 percent of the country’s GDP and 49.8 percent of total export earnings

Although Bangladesh has achieved significant success in reducing the under five children mortality rate and improved in other health and social indicators; still  it has a high prevalence of chronic undernutrition where about six million children are stunted. Bangladesh loses productivity every year costing more than 7,000 crore taka (US$ 1 billion) because of undernutrition, even without adding the health costs (Nutrition Background Paper for 7th FYP, 2015).

The strategic review of ‘Food Security and Nutrition in Bangladesh’ published by (WFP) , mentioned that in Bangladesh the problem of undernutrition is not confined to the poorest segments of the population , because about one-fifth of the children under five in the richest wealth quintile were found to suffer from stunting (p.14, Osmani et al. 2016).  Four major factors in the empirical studies have been found in the observed improvement in nutritional status: growth of income and wealth, education (especially maternal education), expansion of healthcare coverage and improved sanitation (Osmani et al, 2016).

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to gather rigorous quantitative evidence in order to explore the relationship between international, internal migration and its impact on the nutritional status in rural households.

 This study aims to find out the answers of the following three questions: 

• Whether worker’s remittance has contributed in improving the nutritional condition of the children & women (18 to 49 years) in rural areas?

• Whether there is any difference in nutritional status between households with internal migration and international migration?

• Whether income from migration/remittance is the only reason of differential nutritional status in rural households? 

To address these questions  a comprehensive survey panel dataset conducted by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is used [first round 2011-12 and the second round  2012 ].This survey covers most the anthropometric indicators for adult and children and also the migration status in the rural households of  Bangladesh. For estimation purpose Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) will be used to compare the nutritional status among the international, internal and non-migrant households.

The study will be completed in a period of six months effective from November 8, 2016 to May 7, 2017.
Study Team:  Kashfi Rayan (Study Director)
Sponsored from: BIDS Research Endowment Fund

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