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Migration and Young Child Nutrition: Evidence from Rural China

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  • Mu, Ren

    () (Texas A&M University)

  • de Brauw, Alan

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute)

Abstract

The unprecedented large scale rural-to-urban migration in China has left many rural children living apart from their parents. In this study, we examine the impact of parental migration on the nutritional status of young children in rural areas. We use the interaction terms between wage growth in provincial capital cities and initial village migrant networks as instrumental variables to account for migration selection. Our results show that parental migration has no significant impact on the height of children, but it improves their weight. We provide suggestive evidence that the improvement in weight may be achieved through increased access to tap water in migrant households. Concerns about the sustainability of the impact on weight are raised in the conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mu, Ren & de Brauw, Alan, 2013. "Migration and Young Child Nutrition: Evidence from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 7466, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7466
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    2. Duoduo Xu & Xiaogang Wu & Zhuoni Zhang & Jaap Dronkers, 2018. "Not a zero-sum game: Migration and child well-being in contemporary China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(26), pages 691-726.
    3. Alan de Brauw & John Giles, 2018. "Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 1-18.
    4. Lei Lei & Sonalde Desai & Feinian Chen, 2020. "Fathers' migration and nutritional status of children in India: Do the effects vary by community context?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(20), pages 545-580.
    5. Carl Lin & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2019. "Parental Migration Decisions and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from China," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Health and Labor Markets, volume 47, pages 281-310, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    6. Sylvie Démurger, 2015. "Migration and families left behind," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 144-144, April.
    7. Qian Guo & Wenkai Sun & Yijie Wang, 2017. "Effect of Parental Migration on Children's Health in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 1132-1157, November.
    8. John Giles & Yang Huang, 2020. "Migration and human capital accumulation in China," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 476-476, May.
    9. Yang, Guanyi & Bansak, Cynthia, 2020. "Does wealth matter? An assessment of China's rural-urban migration on the education of left-behind children," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    10. 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).
    11. 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.
    12. Ai Yue & Yu Bai & Yaojiang Shi & Renfu Luo & Scott Rozelle & Alexis Medina & Sean Sylvia, 2020. "Parental Migration and Early Childhood Development in Rural China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 403-422, April.
    13. Liu, Mengqi & Villa, Kira M., 2020. "Solution or isolation: Is boarding school a good solution for left-behind children in rural China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    14. Chang Liu & Tor Eriksson & Fujin Yi, 2021. "Offspring Migration and Nutritional Status of Left-behind Older Adults in Rural China," Economics Working Papers 2021-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
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    16. Li, Qiang & Liu, Gordon & Zang, Wenbin, 2015. "The health of left-behind children in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 367-376.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; children; nutrition; rural China; child nutrition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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