Assessing vulnerability of remittance-recipient and non-recipient households in rural communities affected by extreme weather events: Case studies from South-West China and North-East India

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Migration is one way in which rural households can seek to reduce their vulnerability to climate change. However, migration also carries risks and costs, such that vulnerability may not be reduced. This article constructs an index of rural households’ vulnerability to extreme weather events, in order to explore how key components of vulnerability relate to migration. Applied to case studies in India and China, the study finds that the impact of remittances is non-linear. While overall, in Assam few differences were found in the vulnerability of households that did and did not receive remittances, in Yunnan, remittance recipient households were found to have less adaptive capacity in response to drought. However, those who had received remittances over longer periods were found to have improved adaptive capacity in both case studies, and in Yunnan, their exposure to such events was also lower. Meanwhile in Assam, longer-distance migration was associated with reduced exposure to flooding, and with specific forms of adaptation. The vulnerability index developed has capacity to be used in assessments of effects of migration on vulnerability elsewhere.


Original languageEnglish
JournalPopulation Space and Place
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2018


  • Vulnerability, Climate Change, Migration, Remittances, India, China

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