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Migration and sustainable development in Thailand

Ruttiya Bhula-or (College of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 28 January 2020

Issue publication date: 23 December 2020




Previous studies have focused on migration and development from an economic perspective. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate sustainable migration and development in an integrative manner, including economic, social and environmental perspectives linking theoretical frameworks with empirical evidence in Thailand.


A framework of migration and sustainable development was developed in a structured and integrative manner, and the shift in migration and development patterns in Thailand was examined from an empirical and theoretical standpoint.


Migration contributes to Thailand’s economy in many ways. Migrant workers help to grow the economy, especially in labor-intensive sectors. This helps reduced income inequalities at the household level through remittances. Climate change will enhance migration, especially from neighboring countries and within Thailand itself, thus helping to reduce poverty and income inequality. Possible economic gains from migration, as well as circulating workers and international retirement migrants are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

Only studies published in English or Thai were included, which may have resulted in the omission of some research. A need for rethinking policy design and implementation as a source of sustainable development is required.


Despite the recent influences of political and environmental changes, there has previously been no analysis of migration and sustainable development in Thailand in a structured and integrative manner as in this study. The impact of migration on the diffusion of new technology and brain drain issues was also addressed.



Bhula-or, R. (2021), "Migration and sustainable development in Thailand", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 83-94.



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