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Migration, Household Composition and Child Welfare in Rural Northeast Thailand

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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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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/0505.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 05/05.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:05/05

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Keywords: migration; household composition; children; Thailand;

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  1. 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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  3. Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta & DeJong, Gordon, 2004. "Children's nutrition in Jamaica: do household structure and household economic resources matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 499-514, February.
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  8. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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  13. Strauss, J., 1988. "The Effects Of Household And Community Characteristics On The Nutrition Of Preschool Children," Papers 40, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  14. Deborah Roempke Graefe & Daniel Lichter, 1999. "Life course transitions of American children: Parental cohabitation, marriage, and single motherhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 205-217, May.
  15. Luis Rubalcava & Dante Contreras, 2000. "Does Gender and Birth Order Matter when Parents Specialize in Child’s Nutrition? Evidence from Chile," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 353-386, November.
  16. Horton, Susan, 1986. "Child nutrition and family size in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 161-176, September.
  17. Stillman, Steven & Thomas, Duncan, 2004. "The Effect of Economic Crises on Nutritional Status: Evidence from Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 1092, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. 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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