ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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International Migration from Kerala and Its Impact

Researching International Migration: Lessons from the Kerala Experienceby K C Zachariah and S Irudaya Rajan, London and New Delhi: Routledge, 2015; pp xv+272, Rs 795.

The large-scale international migration of Keralites for employment has contributed to the biggest socio-economic change in their home state in the past four decades. The emigration, which started with a few thousands leaving the country during the early 1970s, assumed large proportions after 1980s. More than 90% migrated to the West Asian countries for employment. Studies have shown that since the mid-1970s migration to the Gulf countries and the remittances that followed have had the greatest impact on Kerala’s economy, especially on the state’s labour market, consumptions, savings, investments, income distribution and economic growth in general. One estimate puts the total emigrants from Kerala at 23.63 lakh and the migrant remittance at Rs 73,000 crore during 2014 alone—more than the total revenue and capital expenditure of the state during the fiscal year 2013–14.

The book under review examines migration of people from Kerala, especially to West Asian countries, and its socio-economic impacts. It draws conclusion on the basis of large sample surveys. According to the authors, “The aim of this book is to familiarise beginners to examine the linkage between migration and development, utilising the large scale sample surveys of migration.” The authors admit to using a purely statistical methodology (including sampling) to collect data.

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