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Managing Labor Migration in the Twenty-First Century$
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Philip Martin, Manolo Abella, and Christiane Kuptsch

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300109047

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300109047.001.0001

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Thailand: Migration in a Tiger Economy

Thailand: Migration in a Tiger Economy

(p.133) 6 Thailand: Migration in a Tiger Economy
Managing Labor Migration in the Twenty-First Century

Philip Martin

Manolo Abella

Christiane Kuptsch

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Thailand, a fast-growing country in Southeast Asia that both imports and exports workers. Thailand has more than a million migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, and there are 300,000 Thai workers in Taiwan, Singapore, and Israel. It had a 2002 labor force of thirty-four million, including thirty-three million employed and one million unemployed, and exemplifies the challenges facing many middle-income developing countries that are managing labor migration from poorer neighbors while also seeking to protect their own migrants employed abroad. Thailand adopted an export-oriented economic policy in the mid-1980s and, with foreign direct investment, achieved 10 percent annual economic growth over the following decade, employing first female rural–urban migrants, and later foreign migrants, in export-oriented agriculture, in construction, and in manufacturing industries that produced clothing, textiles, and similar items for export.

Keywords:   Southeast Asia, imports, exports, migrants, migration, economic growth

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