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

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  • Démurger, Sylvie

    ()
    (CNRS, GATE)

  • Xu, Hui

    ()
    (Beijing Normal University)

Abstract

This paper examines how left-behind children influence return migration in China. We first present a simple illustrative model based on Dustmann (2003) that incorporates economic and non-economic motives for migration duration (or intentions to return), among which are parents' concerns about the well-being of their left-behind children. We then propose two complementary empirical tests based on data we collected from rural households in Wuwei county (Anhui province) 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 an incomplete length of duration and return migrants with a complete length of duration. Second, we apply a binary Probit model to study the return intentions of on-going migrants. Both models yield consistent results regarding the role of left-behind children as a significant motive for return. First, left-behind children are found to draw 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7727.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7727

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

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Cited by:
  1. Sylvie Démurger & Shi Li, 2012. "Migration, Remittances and Rural Employment Patterns: Evidence from China," Post-Print halshs-00744438, HAL.
  2. Sylvie Démurger, 2012. "Mapping Modes of Rural Labour Migration in China," Working Papers 1209, 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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