Rural Outmigration and the Gendered Patterns of Agricultural Labor in Nepal

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1981

42 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Vanya Slavchevska

Vanya Slavchevska

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Erdgin Mane

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Susan Kaaria

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Anuja Kar

World Bank Group

Victor Villa

Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Date Written: December 11, 2020

Abstract

In Nepal, as in many developing countries, male outmigration from rural areas is significant and is rapidly transforming the sending communities. Using primary data collected from households in rural Nepali communities, this study analyzes the effects of male out-migration from rural agricultural areas on women’s and men’s work on and off the farm. Using an instrumental variable approach to correct for endogeneity related to outmigration, the study finds differential impacts on agricultural labor for the men and women who remain. Men reduce labor in non-farm work without significantly increasing their labor allocation to other activities. Women, on the other hand, increase their work on the farm taking on new responsibilities and moving from contributing family workers to primary farmers. Despite their growing roles as primary farmers, women in households with a migrant do not increase their work in higher value activities, and remain predominantly concentrated in producing staple grains. The analysis highlights the importance of recognizing the changing roles of rural women, especially with respect to the management of the family farm, but it also raises questions about the sustainability and resilience of rural livelihoods to shocks in remittance incomes.

Keywords: NEPAL, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, migration, rural areas, gender, labour, agriculture, women, men, households, remittances

Suggested Citation

Slavchevska, Vanya and Doss, Cheryl R. and Mane, Erdgin and Kaaria, Susan and Kar, Anuja and Villa, Victor, Rural Outmigration and the Gendered Patterns of Agricultural Labor in Nepal (December 11, 2020). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1981, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3748478

Vanya Slavchevska (Contact Author)

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00100
ITALY

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Erdgin Mane

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00153
Italy

Susan Kaaria

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00153
Italy

Anuja Kar

World Bank Group ( email )

10 Marina Boulevard
Marina Bay Financial Center, Tower 2, #34-02
Singapore, DC 018983
Singapore

Victor Villa

Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
36
PlumX Metrics