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Elder Parent Health and the Migration Decision of Adult Children: Evidence from Rural China

Author

Listed:
  • Giles, John T.

    () (World Bank)

  • Mu, Ren

    () (Texas A&M University)

Abstract

Recent research has shown that participation in migrant labor markets has led to substantial increases in income for families in rural China. This paper asks how participation is affected by elder parent health. We find that younger adults are less likely to work as migrants when a parent is ill. Poor elder parent health has less impact on the probability of employment as a migrant when an adult child has siblings who may be available to provide care. We also highlight the potential importance of including information on non-resident family members when studying how parent illness and elder care requirements influence the labor supply decisions of adult children.

Suggested Citation

  • Giles, John T. & Mu, Ren, 2006. "Elder Parent Health and the Migration Decision of Adult Children: Evidence from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 2333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2333
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Du, Yang & Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui, 2005. "Migration and rural poverty in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 688-709, December.
    2. Taylor, J Edward & Rozelle, Scott & de Brauw, Alan, 2003. "Migration and Incomes in Source Communities: A New Economics of Migration Perspective from China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 75-101, October.
    3. Fuqin Bian & John Logan & Yanjie Bian, 1998. "Intergenerational relations in urban China: Proximity, contact, and help to parents," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(1), pages 115-124, February.
    4. Cai, Fang & Giles, John & Meng, Xin, 2006. "How well do children insure parents against low retirement income? An analysis using survey data from urban China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2229-2255, December.
    5. Giles, John, 2006. "Is life more risky in the open? Household risk-coping and the opening of China's labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 25-60, October.
    6. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Geographic Poverty Traps?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 86, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    7. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
    8. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
    9. Zachary Zimmer & Julia Kwong, 2003. "Family size and support of older adults in urban and rural China: Current effects and future implications," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 23-44, February.
    10. Zhao, Yaohui, 2002. "Causes and Consequences of Return Migration: Recent Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 376-394, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaoyan Lei & John Strauss & Meng Tian & Yaohui Zhao, 2011. "Living Arrangements of the Elderly in China Evidence from CHARLS," Working Papers WR-866, RAND Corporation.
    2. Liu, Zhiqiang, 2008. "Human capital externalities and rural-urban migration: Evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 521-535, September.
    3. Giles, John & Wang, Dewen & Zhao, Changbao, 2010. "Can China's rural elderly count on support from adult children ? implications of rural-to-urban migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5510, The World Bank.
    4. Malhar S Nabar, 2011. "Targets, Interest Rates, and Household Saving in Urban China," IMF Working Papers 11/223, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rural China; aging; migration; health;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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