Agricultural Aid and Intergenerational Relations in a Context of Industrial Transition: The Case of Nang Rong, Thailand

Martin Piotrowski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work investigates impacts on rural areas during a country’s transition from rural subsistence to urban industrial, using help with harvesting rice as an illustration of the profound changes that occur. The setting is Nang Rong, Thailand, a region that has been experiencing social, economic, and demographic transformation in the last three decades. Nang Rong out-migrants are young adults. Their parents are approaching ages where it becomes progressively more difficult to do agricultural labor. Hence, rice harvest help from migrants impacts intergenerational relations between adult children and their parents. I find that migrants are much more likely to help with the rice harvest if their origin household owns securely titled land, and if the migrant has lower human capital endowments. Results suggest that intergenerational relations between parents and children are becoming more instrumental, which is related to a loss of interdependency among family members.

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Presented in Session 77: Intergenerational Exchanges in Transitional Societies