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Migration and young child nutrition: evidence from rural China

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  • Ren Mu

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  • Alan Brauw

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Abstract

The unprecedented large-scale rural-to-urban migration in China has left many rural children living apart from their parents. In this study, we examine the impact of parental migration on the nutritional status of young children in rural areas. We use the interaction terms between wage growth, by gender, in provincial capital cities and initial village migrant networks as instrumental variables to account for migration selection. Our results show that parental migration has no significant effect on the height of children, but it improves their weight. We provide suggestive evidence that the improvement in weight may be achieved through increased access to tap water in migrant households. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Ren Mu & Alan Brauw, 2015. "Migration and young child nutrition: evidence from rural China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 631-657, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:3:p:631-657
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0550-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan de Brauw & John Giles, 2018. "Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 1-18.
    2. Lei Lei & Sonalde Desai & Feinian Chen, 2020. "Fathers' migration and nutritional status of children in India: Do the effects vary by community context?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(20), pages 545-580.
    3. Carl Lin & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2019. "Parental Migration Decisions and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from China," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Health and Labor Markets, volume 47, pages 281-310, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    4. Qian Guo & Wenkai Sun & Yijie Wang, 2017. "Effect of Parental Migration on Children's Health in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 1132-1157, November.
    5. John Giles & Yang Huang, 2020. "Migration and human capital accumulation in China," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 476-476, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Sylvie Démurger, 2015. "Migration and families left behind," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 144-144, April.
    8. Wang, Chunchao & Zhang, Chenglei & Ni, Jinlan & Zhang, Haifeng & Zhang, Junsen, 2019. "Family migration in China: Do migrant children affect parental settlement intention?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 416-428.
    9. Li, Qiang & Liu, Gordon & Zang, Wenbin, 2015. "The health of left-behind children in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 367-376.
    10. Yang, Fan & Zhang, Lufa, 2018. "Problem behavior patterns of victims of school bullying in rural China: The role of intrapersonal and interpersonal resources," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 315-320.
    11. Duoduo Xu & Xiaogang Wu & Zhuoni Zhang & Jaap Dronkers, 2018. "Not a zero-sum game: Migration and child well-being in contemporary China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(26), pages 691-726.
    12. Yang, Guanyi & Bansak, Cynthia, 2020. "Does wealth matter? An assessment of China's rural-urban migration on the education of left-behind children," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    13. Zhang, Yi & Matz, Julia Anna, 2017. "On the train to brain gain in rural China," Discussion Papers 252443, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    14. Ai Yue & Yu Bai & Yaojiang Shi & Renfu Luo & Scott Rozelle & Alexis Medina & Sean Sylvia, 2020. "Parental Migration and Early Childhood Development in Rural China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 403-422, April.
    15. Liu, Mengqi & Villa, Kira M., 2020. "Solution or isolation: Is boarding school a good solution for left-behind children in rural China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    16. Chang Liu & Tor Eriksson & Fujin Yi, 2021. "Offspring Migration and Nutritional Status of Left-behind Older Adults in Rural China," Economics Working Papers 2021-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Children; Nutrition; Rural China; I15; J61; O16; O12;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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