Labor Migration, Change in Left Behind Elderly Living Arrangement and Intra-Household Elderly Care in Kanchanaburi DSS, Thailand

Min Qin, Mahidol University
Sureeporn Punpuing, Mahidol University
Philip Guest, Mahidol University

Existing studies mainly focus on the impact of migration on migrants themselves, less attention has been paid to the effects of migration on the family members ‘left behind’ by migrants. This paper explores how labor migration effects familial care of the left behind elderly. The analysis is based on panel data of the Kanchanaburi Demographic Surveillance System (KDSS) in Thailand. The study tests two models: a Cox hazard model that focuses on labor migration and change in elderly living arrangements and a logistic regression model that focuses on labor migration and intra-household elderly care. The study found that labor migration triggers transitions in elderly living arrangements from co-residence to living alone, even after controlling for other confounding variables. Secondly, labor migration has several negative effects on intra-household elderly care. The paper raises the concern of the social impact of migration on the elderly in Thai society.

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Presented in Session 166: Insights on Family Transfers to Elderly Parents: A Cross-National Perspective