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Offspring migration and nutritional status of left-behind older adults in rural China

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  • Liu, Chang
  • Eriksson, Tor
  • Yi, Fujin

Abstract

Improvements in nutritional status is a principal pathway to good health. This study examines the effect of migration of adult children on the nutrient intake of left-behind older adults in rural China. We use data from four waves (2004–2011) of the China Health and Nutrition Survey and utilize individual fixed effects methods to panel data. Results show that the migration of offspring is associated with significantly higher nutritional status of their left-behind parents, especially higher intake of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins B1–B3, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, selenium, and copper. The intake of some of these nutrients is below recommended levels. The magnitude of the estimated effects vary between 4% and 24 %. Older adults who live with their grandchildren in rural households or have a low income benefit more from having adult child migrants in the household. The improvement of nutrition outcomes of left-behind older adults is mainly due to increased consumption of cereals, meat, eggs, and fish.

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  • Liu, Chang & Eriksson, Tor & Yi, Fujin, 2021. "Offspring migration and nutritional status of left-behind older adults in rural China," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:41:y:2021:i:c:s1570677x21000204
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2021.100996
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Offspring migration; Nutrient intake; Food composition; Left-behind older adult;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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