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Left‐Behind Children and Return Decisions of Rural Migrants in China

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  • Sylvie Démurger

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)

  • Hui Xu

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)

Abstract

This paper examines how left-behind children influence return migration in China. We first present a simple model that incorporates economic and non-economic motives for migration duration (or intentions to return). Based on Dustmann (2003b), the parent is assumed to be altruistic and to care about the prospects of her left-behind children. We then propose two complementary empirical tests based on an original dataset from a rural household survey carried out in Wuwei County (Anhui province, China) in fall 2008. We first use a discrete-time proportional hazard model to estimate the determinants of migration duration for both on-going migrants with incomplete length of duration and return migrants with complete length of duration. Second, we apply a binary Probit model to study the return intentions of on-going migrants. Both models find consistent results regarding the role of left-behind children as a significant motive for return. First, left-behind children are found to pull their parents back to the village, the effect being stronger for pre-school children. Second, sons are found to play a more important role than daughters in reducing migration duration.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00617039.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00617039

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Keywords: return migration; migration duration; left-behind children; discrete-time duration analysis; China;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sylvie Démurger, 2012. "Mapping Modes of Rural Labour Migration in China," Working Papers halshs-00695632, HAL.
  2. Sylvie Démurger & Shi Li, 2012. "Migration, Remittances and Rural Employment Patterns: Evidence from China," Post-Print halshs-00744438, HAL.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00744438 is not listed on IDEAS

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