Exploring Household Financial Decision-making through a Migration Lens

This study examines the factors that shape financial decision-making in migrant households in India, and aims to bridge gaps in the current literature on financial preferences and practices of migrant households.

Background

Existing literature on migration and financial inclusion primarily focuses on either migrant workers and their financial needs, or remittance flows and their effects on development, leaving the subject of household decision-making significantly under-researched. This study examines household financial decision-making through the lens of migration, by comparing the financial preferences and decisions of migrant and non-migrant households.

Approach

This study adopts a comparative approach to determine how factors such as migrant preferences, gender, composition of the household, and years of migration influence financial decision-making in migrant households, and how financial preferences of households differ by migrant status in terms of risk tolerance, allocation of resources, and asset ownership. The study uses a mixed-methods design, combining logistic regression analysis and other statistical tests with key-informant interviews with local and state actors to provide valuable context on the dynamics of household decision-making, trends in migration, and deterrents to improved financial behavior.

Implications

Low-income households in India rely on migration as a strategy to smoothen income and access economic opportunities. While much of the research on migration has focused on remittances,  there is a critical need to understand what factors drive financial decision-making in migrant households and how these strategies may differ from non-migrant households. Findings from this study will have important implications for the design and delivery of financial products and services targeted towards migrant households. 

Results are forthcoming. 

Thematic area

Financial Inclusion

Project Leads

Shailender Swaminathan, Fabrizio Valenti, Lakshmi Kumar

Location

Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi/NCR migration corridor

Partners

Dvara Research

Status

Completed