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Migration, Household Composition, and Child Welfare in Rural Northeast Thailand

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  • Cameron, Michael P.
  • Lim, Steven

Abstract

In many developing countries the composition of rural households is influenced by the migration of adult household members to urban locations in search of employment. Children may be left in the care of their mother alone, or in the care of grandparents when both parents have migrated. Using representative data from a household survey conducted in rural Northeast Thailand in 2003, this paper investigates whether household composition has any effect on the welfare of children, as measured by anthropometric measurements including height-for-age, weight-for-age, and weight-for-height. Our findings suggest that household types other than nuclear families result in some significantly worse child nutritional outcomes. The implication is that governments should protect the welfare of the children of migrants, either through targeted programs or through increased opportunities for employment in rural areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2005 Conference, August 26-27, 2005, Nelson, New Zealand with number 98508.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:nzar05:98508

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Web page: http://www.nzares.org.nz/
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Keywords: migration; household composition; children; Thailand; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Consumer/Household Economics; Environmental Economics and Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy; I31; O15; O18;

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  1. David J. McKenzie & Nicole Hildebrandt, 2005. "The Effects of Migration on Child Health in Mexico," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
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  9. Handa, Sudhanshu, 1996. "Expenditure behavior and children's welfare: An analysis of female headed households in Jamaica," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 165-187, June.
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  12. Cebu Study Team, 1992. "A child health production function estimated from longitudinal data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 323-351, April.
  13. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
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  15. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John, 1994. "Women's income and boy-girl anthropometric status in the Cote d'Ivoire," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 543-553, April.
  16. Handa, Sudhanshu, 1999. "Maternal Education and Child Height," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 421-39, January.
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