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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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References

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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The optimal migration duration and activity choice after re-migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-372, April.
  2. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
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  14. Bhat, Chandra R., 1996. "A hazard-based duration model of shopping activity with nonparametric baseline specification and nonparametric control for unobserved heterogeneity," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 189-207, June.
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  16. Slobodan Djajić, 2008. "Immigrant Parents and Children: An Analysis of Decisions Related to Return Migration," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 469-485, 08.
  17. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.
  18. Dustmann, Christian & Fadlon, Itzhak & Weiss, Yoram, 2011. "Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 58-67, May.
  19. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
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  21. Xinxin Chen & Qiuqiong Huang & Scott Rozelle & Yaojiang Shi & Linxiu Zhang, 2009. "Effect of Migration on Children's Educational Performance in Rural China," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 323-343, September.
  22. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
  23. 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. Sylvie Démurger, 2012. "Mapping Modes of Rural Labour Migration in China," Working Papers halshs-00695632, HAL.
  2. Sylvie Démurger & Li Shi, 2012. "Migration, Remittances and Rural Employment Patterns : Evidence from China," Working Papers 1230, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00744438 is not listed on IDEAS

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