ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Migration, Remittances and Changing Sources of Income in Rural Bihar (1999–2011)

Some Findings from a Longitudinal Study

Longitudinal study conducted in rural Bihar points to increasing outmigration for work, and its importance in livelihood strategies of households in rural Bihar. Remittances have thus become increasingly important and are a crucial link between source and destination areas. Based on primary data collected in 12 representative villages in seven districts, sources of livelihoods and local income (agriculture, livestock, non-agriculture) are examined vis-à-vis remittances in rural Bihar. Changes in the distribution of income sources over time are studied, disaggregated by household variables such as caste, class and landownership, and individual variables such as gender and education, across income quintiles, giving insights into the role of migration (and remittances) in agrarian change, livelihood diversification and social transformation in rural Bihar. 

This paper draws on work carried out jointly with Sunil Mishra, Gerry Rodgers, Janine Rodgers and Alakh Sharma under a research programme on inclusive development in rural Bihar at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi. An earlier version of the paper was presented at a seminar on Migration, Care Economy and Remittances at the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram during 17–19 September 2014. I thank an anonymous reviewer of this journal for helpful comments on an earlier draft of the paper.

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