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The impact of parental migration on children’s school performance in rural China

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  • Zhao, Qiran
  • Yu, Xiaohua
  • Wang, Xiaobing
  • Glauben, Thomas

Abstract

A substantial amount of China’s rapid economic growth in has been attributed to its large proportion of rural-urban migrants, but more than 80% of these migrants’ children are still left in rural areas mainly due to China’s household registration system. Identification of the impact of parental migration on children’s school performance may encounter the problem of endogeneity. Using unique survey data collected from Qinghai Province and the Ningxia Autonomous Region in Northwestern China where more than 7,100 Grade 4 & 5 students from 74 rural elementary schools participated and by the instrumental-variable estimation, our results indicate that parents’ decisions to migrate are exogenous to their children’s schooling performance, and one more migratory parent can marginally reduce their child’s math score by 1.73 percent in percentile rank, which implies that the current economic growth in China partially jeopardizes the future of the next rural generation. In addition, we find a causal relationship between the poor performance of ethnic minorities and both geographical and social disadvantages.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao, Qiran & Yu, Xiaohua & Wang, Xiaobing & Glauben, Thomas, 2012. "The impact of parental migration on children’s school performance in rural China," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126460, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126460
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:26 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sylvie Démurger & Hui Xu, 2015. "Left-behind children and return migration in China," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
    3. Wang Sophie Xuefei, 2014. "The Effect of Parental Migration on the Educational Attainment of Their Left-Behind Children in Rural China," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-44, July.
    4. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1377-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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).
    6. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:4:p:1132-1157 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Bai, Yu & Zhang, Linxiu & Liu, Chengfang & Shi, Yaojiang & Mo, Di & Rozelle, Scott, 2016. "Effect of Parental Migration on the Academic Performance of Left-behind Children in Northwestern China," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236806, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    instrumental variables; migration; rural China; school performance; Labor and Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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