Exploring Multi-Dimensional Wellbeing and Remittances in El Salvador

Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Mirtha Rosaura Muniz Castillo
2006 Social Science Research Network  
The 'watch dog' role of the media, the impact of migration processes, health care access for children in developing countries, mitigation of the effects of Global Warming are typical examples of governance issues -issues to be tackled at the base; issues to be solved by creating and implementing effective policy. The Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University, prepares students to pave the road for innovative policy developments in Europe and the world today. Our master's
more » ... d PhD programmes train you in analysing, monitoring and evaluating public policy in order to strengthen democratic governance in domestic and international organisations. The School carefully crafts its training activities to give national and international organisations, scholars and professionals the tools needed to harness the strengths of changing organisations and solve today' s challenges, and more importantly, the ones of tomorrow. Abstract El Salvador has experienced high and increasing migration outflows during the last three decades, fuelled by the civil war in the 1980s and currently by a lack of economic opportunities. In parallel, family remittances have grown to represent 16.1 percent of GDP in 2004. In this context, it is relevant to explore the wellbeing of individuals in households receiving remittances. In this paper, we propose an alternative measure of multi-dimensional wellbeing based on the capability approach that focuses on functionings or achievements of individuals in valuable dimensions of life, such as " life and physical health" and " social relations" . From the multipurpose household survey (EHPM), we select feasible indicators for these dimensions which we aggregated using the Fuzzy Sets theory. We analyse wellbeing of different population groups in the selected dimensions of life. We find interesting differences in wellbeing between urban and rural households and male and female headed households. Finally, we analyse wellbeing for individuals in households depending on migration and remittances status. Households that receive remittances do show higher wellbeing, and those that are non-poor and receive remittances perform better than all other groups. The difference is higher in the dimensions of " security, shelter and environment" and in social relations". This is the first application of Fuzzy Sets theory to measure multi-dimensional wellbeing in El Salvador, based on the EHPM. We recommend the inclusion of additional indicators in the questionnaire and a further exploration of this method to assess wellbeing of different population groups in order to support a more precise definition of social protection policies.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1095706 fatcat:6wmxmpz56bhb3kiyy5245xajnm