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When the Cat\'s Away... The Effects of Spousal Migration on Investments on Children

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  • Lucia Rizzica

    (University College of London)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of parental migration on children left behind in order to understand whether and how the effects of migration on children depend on which of their parents migrates. I describe the migration of one of the spouses as a sequential game in which the spouse who migrated chooses how much to send back to the spouse left behind in the form of remittances and then the latter decides how to allocate his total available budget within the household. A similar mechanism generates no difference in the share of total household income devoted to investment on children no matter which of the parents migrates, even when the two spouses have different preferences. These predictions are tested using data from Indonesia, where female migration is particularly widespread. To solve the selection problems entailed in the comparison between households with migrant fathers and households with migrant mothers, I focus on households that have at least one migrant parent and develop a model in which the decision about whether to send the man or the woman eventually depends on the expected returns and risk associated to each of the two choices. These measures will provide me with a set of instrumental variables to test the theoretical model. In accordance with the predictions of the model I find that the difference in children related expenditure is not significant between households in which mothers migrate and households in which fathers do. On the other hand I find that in households with migrant mother a significantly larger share of income is devoted to adult goods consumption; this difference reflects the difference in tastes for investment on children between men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Rizzica, "undated". "When the Cat\'s Away... The Effects of Spousal Migration on Investments on Children," Development Working Papers 361, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:361
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    File URL: https://www.dagliano.unimi.it//media/WP2013_361.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertoli, Simone & Gautrain, Elsa & Murard, Elie, 2020. "Left Behind, but Not Alone: Changes in Living Arrangements and the Effects of Migration and Remittances in Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 13917, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Gender; Human Capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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