The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


A SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF HOUSEHOLD CONSUMER-PRODUCER RATIOS ON THE HAZARD OF OUT-MIGRATION AMONG THE KAREN

DANIEL PARKER1,2, JAMES WOOD1,2, SHINSUKE TOMITA3, SHARON DEWITTE4, JEERAPHAT SIRICHAISINTHOP5 and LIWANG CUI6.

1Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, 2Population Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, 3Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan, 4Department of Anthropology, University of South Carolina, 5Vector Borne Disease Training Center, Pra Budhabat, Thailand, Ministry of Public Health, 6Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University

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Household dynamics have important implications for human migration and mobility, perhaps especially in small-scale agricultural populations. However, studies that investigate the influence of household factors on human movement patterns have been rare, largely because relevant quantitative data are hard to collect. In this study we used longitudinal demographic data from ethnic Karen populations along the Thai-Myanmar border. These villages rely heavily on agriculture for subsistence. We used event history analysis to investigate the risk of out-migration with regards to the household consumer-producer (CP) ratio. In our study population(s), working-aged males are likely to engage in strenuous work during planting and harvesting seasons and may also consume more food during these times. However, during the off season, males may not contribute much labor at all. We therefore conducted a sensitivity analysis of our event history model, allowing for varying contributions by working-age males and females. Our initial model indicated a negative relation between a household’s CP ratio and the risk of a household member out-migrating. Our sensitivity analysis indicated that when male household members contribute more labor than females there is a decrease in the likelihood of out-migration in high CP ratio households. We interpret this finding to indicate that when there is a relative shortage of household ‘producers’ there is also a decrease in the likelihood that household members will migrate. Our study adds to the scant literature on migration in small-scale agricultural societies and has implications with regards to the use of CP ratios in demographic models.

This study is partially supported by NIAID, NIH (U19AI089672).

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