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Gender, Educational Attainment, and the Impact of Parental Migration on Children Left Behind

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  • Antman, Francisca M.

    ()
    (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract

Estimation of the causal effect of parental migration on children's educational attainment is complicated by the fact that migrants and non-migrants are likely to differ in unobservable ways that also affect children's educational outcomes. This paper suggests a novel way of addressing this selection problem by looking within the family to exploit variation in siblings' ages at the time of parental migration. The basic assumption underlying the analysis is that parental migration will have no effect on the educational outcomes of children who are at least 20 because they have already completed their educations. Their younger siblings, in contrast, may still be in school, and thus will be affected by the parental migration experience. The results point to a statistically significant positive effect of paternal U.S. migration on education for girls, suggesting that pushing a father's U.S. migration earlier in his daughter's life can lead to an increase in her educational attainment of up to 1 year relative to delaying migration until after she has turned 20. In contrast, paternal domestic migration has no statistically significant effect on educational attainment for girls or boys, suggesting that father absence does not play a major role in determining children's educational outcomes. Instead, these results suggest that the marginal dollars from U.S. migrant remittances appear to enable families to further educate their daughters. Thus, policymakers should view international migration as a potential pathway by which families raise educational attainments of girls in particular.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6640.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2012, 25 (4), 1187 - 1214
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6640

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Keywords: education; father absence; migration; gender;

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References

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  1. Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Nazmul, 2010. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy," Working Papers 83, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2009. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0913, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Jessica Pan, 2013. "The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 32-64, January.
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  11. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
  12. Nava Ashraf & Diego Aycinena & Claudia Martínez & Dean Yang, 2011. "Remittances and the Problem of Control: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador," Working Papers wp341, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  13. Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
  14. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
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  16. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Feng Hu, 2013. "Does migration benefit the schooling of children left behind?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(2), pages 33-70, July.
  2. Francisca M. Antman, 2011. "International Migration and Gender Discrimination among Children Left Behind," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 645-49, May.
  3. Boutin, Delphine, 2014. "Remittances and Child Labour in Africa: Evidence from Burkina Faso," IZA Discussion Papers 8007, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Nguyen, Cuong Viet & Vu, Linh Hoang, 2014. "Should Parents Work Away from or Close to Home? The Effect of Temporary Parental Absence on Child Poverty and Children’s Time Use in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 52877, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Antman, Francisca M., 2012. "The Impact of Migration on Family Left Behind," IZA Discussion Papers 6374, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Marcus Böhme & Ruth Persian & Tobias Stoehr, 2013. "Alone but Better Off? Adult Child Migration and Health of Elderly Parents in Moldova," Kiel Working Papers 1876, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Marina Mastrorillo & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2014. "International Migration and School Enrollment of the Left-Behinds in Albania: A Note," LEM Papers Series 2014/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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