Migrant Social Capital: Effects of Thailand’s 1997 Economic Crisis and Post-Crisis Recovery

Sara Curran, University of Washington
Karen Brooks, University of Washington
Anita Rocha, University of Washington

Employing longitudinal data from Thailand, we extend current knowledge of internal migration processes by analyzing changes in migration frequencies before, during, and after Thailand’s economic crisis of 1997. We replicate recent studies of cumulative causation by measuring frequency of trips, duration of time away, and level of network aggregation (village or household), to estimate a model of migration among men and women in Thailand during recent periods of national economic growth and recession. Building on our earlier work showing that migrant social capital differently affects men’s and women’s migration, this study evaluates year and occupational sex segregation effects. Expected findings are that return migration of men and women to villages of origin increased during the economic crisis. Although rural-urban migration decreased for both male and female migrants, within two years, it began to increase again, first affecting female migrants in the manufacturing industry and then male migrants in all occupations.

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Presented in Session 9: Gender and Migration