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Siblings’ interaction in migration decisions: who provides for the elderly left behind?

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  • Tobias Stöhr

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Abstract

In most poor countries, with high emigration rates, elderly people are dependent on their children for the provision of care and income. This paper is the first to explicitly model and estimate social interaction between siblings’ migration decisions in such settings. The interaction consists of two effects with opposite signs; a chain migration effect that can cause traditional caregiving structures to break down and an opposing specialization effect that increases family members’ incentives to remain at home and provide care when their siblings migrate. The estimates for Moldova, one of the countries with the highest emigration rates in the world, indicate that siblings’ interaction strongly decreases their equilibrium emigration rates. Siblings’ interaction is found to increase in line with the incentives that are assumed in the model. Hence, the paper provides evidence of the robustness of families’ informal security arrangements to large-scale emigration and has important implications for policies that aim at the population left behind. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Stöhr, 2015. "Siblings’ interaction in migration decisions: who provides for the elderly left behind?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 593-629, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:3:p:593-629
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0546-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Roman, Monica & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Left behind but doing good? Civic engagement in two post-socialist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 658-684.
    2. Delpierre, Matthieu & Dupuy, Arnaud & Tenikue, Michel & Verheyden, Bertrand, 2017. "The Education Motive for Migrant Remittances: Theory and Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 10772, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2016. "Gender Dimensions of Inequality in the Countries of Central Asia, South Caucasus, and Western CIS," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_858, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Connelly, Rachel & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret, 2016. "Left behind, at-risk, and vulnerable elders in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 140-153.
    5. AO, Xiang & JIANG, Dawei & ZHAO, Zhong, 2016. "The impact of rural–urban migration on the health of the left-behind parents," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 126-139.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Social interaction; Peer effects; Elderly care; Remittances; Intra-family allocation; Migration cost; F22; J14; I19; D10;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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