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Employment Transitions in an Era of Change in Thailand


Alva, Soumya & Entwisle, Barbara (2002). Employment Transitions in an Era of Change in Thailand. Southeast Asian Studies, 40(3), 303-326.


The last three decades offer much evidence of greater access to new avenues of employment with globalization and rapid economic development in Southeast Asia, including a trend toward employment-related migration out of rural areas. This article considers the implications of globalization in Thailand from a rural perspective by examining the direct impact on employment of rural residents who migrate to urban areas, and the indirect impact on rural residents through the experiences of urban migrants. Within this framework, we consider whether men and women have similar migration and associated employment outcomes, and whether those outcomes vary by changes in the individual’s stage in the life course. We use data for working-age individuals from Nang Rong District in Thailand in 1984, 1994, and 2000 to determine general employment trends in rural and urban Thailand. An associated analysis follows a single cohort of individuals aged 8-25 years in 1984 to examine changes in their employment patterns in subsequent years, 1994 and 2000. We discuss the factors influencing some individuals to remain employed in Nang Rong, while others migrate, either permanently or temporarily, to urban areas. We compare categories of sector of employment, including individuals not employed, to examine these questions.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Southeast Asian Studies


Alva, Soumya
Entwisle, Barbara