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Migration and child development during the food price crisis in El Salvador

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  • de Brauw, Alan

Abstract

Migration is often used as parts of both ex post and ex ante strategies to mitigate risks to household incomes. There is little empirical evidence, however, of the way that migration actually helps households in times of shocks. In this paper, I describe how the peak of the worldwide food price crisis affected anthropometric statistics among young children in El Salvador, and how households with access to international migrants were not affected as negatively as households without such access. In 2008, El Salvador experienced food price inflation of 15%, and the evaluation of Red Solidaria, El Salvador's conditional cash transfer program, shows that height-for-age (HAZ) Z scores among children under 3 years old declined by 0.2 standard deviations on average. In this paper, I use the Red Solidaria evaluation data to assess whether children in households with access to remittances or international migrants were better off than households without access to migration income. Using both repeated cross-sectional data and individual panel data, I find that as theory would expect, children in households with access to international migrants have much lower declines in their HAZ scores.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 28-40

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:28-40

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

Related research

Keywords: Migration Height-for-age Z scores Stunting Food prices;

References

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  1. Timothy Halliday, 2005. "Migration, Risk and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Working Papers 200511, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics, revised 28 Mar 2006.
  2. von Braun, Joachim, 2008. "Rising food prices: What should be done?," Policy briefs 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
  4. Bouis, Howarth E. & Haddad, Lawrence J., 1992. "Are estimates of calorie-income fxelasticities too high? : A recalibration of the plausible range," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 333-364, October.
  5. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  6. Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2008. "The impact of food price increases on caloric intake in China," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 465-476, November.
  7. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  8. William A. Masters & Gerald E. Shively, 2008. "Introduction to the special issue on the world food crisis," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 373-374, November.
  9. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
  10. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  11. Acosta, Pablo, 2006. "Labor supply, school attendance, and remittances from international migration : the case of El Salvador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3903, The World Bank.
  12. John Giles, 2000. "Is Life More Risky in the Open? Household Risk-Coping and the Opening of China's Labor Markets," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 314, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  13. David McKenzie, 2005. "Measuring inequality with asset indicators," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 229-260, 06.
  14. von Braun, Joachim, 2008. "Rising food prices: What should be done? [In Chinese]," Policy briefs 1 CH, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Flore Gubert, 2002. "Do Migrants Insure Those who Stay Behind? Evidence from the Kayes Area (Western Mali)," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 267-287.
  16. John Giles & Ren Mu, 2007. "Elderly parent health and the migration decisions of adult children: Evidence from rural China," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 265-288, May.
  17. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 9766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, 08.
  19. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Combes, Jean-Louis & Ebeke, Christian Hubert & Etoundi, Sabine Mireille Ntsama & Yogo, Thierry Urbain, 2014. "Are Remittances and Foreign Aid a Hedge Against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 81-98.

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