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Can Migration Reduce Educational Attainments? Depressing Evidence from Mexico

  • David McKenzie

    ()

    (Development Research Group, World Bank)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, CADRE, University of Lille II, and Stanford Center for International Development)

This paper examines the impact of migration on educational attainments in rural Mexico. Using historical migration rates by state to instrument for current migration, we find evidence of a significant negative effect of migration on schooling attendance and attainments of 12 to 18 year-old boys and of 16 to 18 year-old girls. IV-Censored Ordered Probit results show that living in a migrant household lowers the chances of boys completing junior high-school and of boys and girls completing high-school. The negative effect of migration on schooling is somewhat mitigated for younger girls with low educated mothers, which is consistent with remittances relaxing credit constraints on education investment for the very poor. However, for the majority of rural Mexican children, family migration depresses educational attainment. Comparison of the marginal effects of migration on school attendance and on participation to other activities shows that the observed decrease in schooling of 16 to 18 year olds is accounted for by current migration of boys and increases in housework for girls.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0601.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0601
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  1. José Ernesto López-Córdova, 2006. "Globalization, migration and development : the role of Mexican migrant remittances," INTAL Working Papers 1440, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  2. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  3. Dean Yang, 2004. "International Migration, Human Capital, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Philippine Migrants’ Exchange Rate Shocks," Working Papers 531, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  4. Holmes, Jessica, 2003. "Measuring the determinants of school completion in Pakistan: analysis of censoring and selection bias," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 249-264, June.
  5. Pushkar Maitra, 2003. "Schooling and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 129-153.
  6. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
  8. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  9. Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E., 1999. "Schooling of girls and boys in a West African country: the effects of parental education, income, and household structure," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 63-87, February.
  10. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
  11. 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.
  12. King, Elizabeth M. & Lillard, Lee A., 1987. "Education policy and schooling attainment in Malaysia and the Philippines," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 167-181, April.
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