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Labor Migration in Indonesia and the Health of Children Left Behind

Author

Listed:
  • Ng James

    () (Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA)

Abstract

Economic research on labor migration in the developing world has traditionally focused on the role played by the remittances of overseas migrant labor in the sending country’s economy. Recently, due in no small part to the availability of rich microdata, more attention has been paid to the effects of migration on the lives of family members left behind. This paper examines how the temporary migration of parents for work affects the health outcomes of children left behind using the longitudinal data obtained from the Indonesia Family Life Survey. The anthropometric measure of the child health used, height-for-age, serves as a proxy for stunting. The evidence suggests that whether parental migration is beneficial or deleterious to the child health depends on which parent moved. In particular, migration of the mother has an adverse effect on the child’s height-for-age, reducing height-for-age Z-score by 0.5 standard deviations. This effect is not seen on the migration of the father.

Suggested Citation

  • Ng James, 2019. "Labor Migration in Indonesia and the Health of Children Left Behind," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 10(2), pages 809-828, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:izajdm:v:10:y:2019:i:2:p:809-828:n:3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; labor; migration; children; families left behind;

    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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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