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The impact of adult child emigration on the mental health of older parents

Listed author(s):
  • Irene Mosca

    ()

    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Alan Barrett

    (Trinity College Dublin
    Economic and Social Research Institute
    Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

Abstract We explore whether older parents of adult children who emigrate experience, in the short term, increases in depressive symptoms and loneliness feelings compared to parents whose children do not migrate. We use data from the first two waves of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, which is a nationally representative sample of 8500 people aged 50 + living in Ireland. To deal with the endogeneity of migration, we apply fixed-effects estimation models and control for a broad range of life events occurring between the two waves. These include the emigration of a child but also events such as bereavement, onset of disease, retirement and unemployment. We find that depressive symptoms and loneliness feelings increase among the parents of migrant children but that the effect is only present for mothers. As the economic burden of mental health problems is high, our findings have potentially significant impacts for migrant-sending regions and countries.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00148-015-0582-8
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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2016)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 687-719

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:29:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-015-0582-8
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0582-8
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  1. Andrew D. Tiedt, 2013. "Cross-National Comparisons of Gender Differences in Late-Life Depressive Symptoms in Japan and the United States," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 68(3), pages 443-454.
  2. Richard Layard, 2013. "Mental health: the new frontier for labour economics," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, December.
  3. David A. Grigorian & Tigran A. Melkonyan, 2011. "Destined to Receive: The Impact of Remittances on Household Decisions in Armenia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 139-153, February.
  4. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 9766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dhaval Dave & R. Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2008. "The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 497-523, October.
  6. Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2002. "An econometric analysis of the mental-health effects of major events in the life of older individuals," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 505-520.
  7. Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Lucia Mangiavacchi, 2010. "Children's Schooling and Parental Migration: Empirical Evidence on the ‘Left‐behind’ Generation in Albania," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 76-92, December.
  8. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
  9. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
  10. Vincent O'Sullivan & Brian Nolan & Alan Barrett & Cara Dooley, 2014. "Income and Wealth in The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(3), pages 329-348.
  11. Merril Silverstein & Zhen Cong & Shuzhuo Li, 2006. "Intergenerational Transfers and Living Arrangements of Older People in Rural China: Consequences for Psychological Well-Being," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(5), pages 256-266.
  12. A. Barrett & V. O'Sullivan, 2014. "The wealth, health and well-being of Ireland's older people before and during the economic crisis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(10), pages 675-678, July.
  13. David J. McKenzie & Nicole Hildebrandt, 2005. "The Effects of Migration on Child Health in Mexico," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2005), pages 257-289, August.
  14. Matthias Schonlau, 2005. "Boosted regression (boosting): An introductory tutorial and a Stata plugin," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 330-354, September.
  15. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
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