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Children of Migrants: The Cumulative Impact of Parental Migration on their Children's Education and Health Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Xin Meng

    (Research School of Economics, CBE, Australian National University)

  • Chikako Yamauchi

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

Abstract

In the past 15 years, around 160 million Chinese rural workers migrated to cities for work. Because of restrictions on migrant access to local health and education system, many migrant children are left-behind in rural villages and growing up without parental care. This paper examines how parental migration affects children's health and education outcomes in the long run. Using the Rural-Urban Migration Survey in China (RUMiC) data, we measure the share of children's lifetime during which parents were away from home. We instrument this measure of parental absence with weather changes in their home villages when parents were aged 16-25, or when they were most likely to initiate migration. Results show a sizable adverse impact of exposure to parental migration on the health and education outcomes of children, in particular boys. We also find that what the literature has always done (using contemporaneous measure for parental migration) is likely to underestimate the effect of exposure to parental migration on children's outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Xin Meng & Chikako Yamauchi, 2015. "Children of Migrants: The Cumulative Impact of Parental Migration on their Children's Education and Health Outcomes," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-07, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:15-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chad Meyerhoefer & C. Chen, 2011. "The effect of parental labor migration on children’s educational progress in rural china," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 379-396, September.
    2. Chang, Hongqin & Dong, Xiao-yuan & MacPhail, Fiona, 2011. "Labor Migration and Time Use Patterns of the Left-behind Children and Elderly in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2199-2210.
    3. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, April.
    4. Xin Meng, 2012. "Labor Market Outcomes and Reforms in China," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 75-102, Fall.
    5. Meng, Xin & Zhang, Junsen, 2001. "The Two-Tier Labor Market in Urban China: Occupational Segregation and Wage Differentials between Urban Residents and Rural Migrants in Shanghai," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 485-504, September.
    6. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
    7. de Brauw, Alan & Mu, Ren, 2011. "Migration and the overweight and underweight status of children in rural China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 88-100, February.
    8. Dan Black & Jeffrey Smith & Kermit Daniel, 2005. "College Quality and Wages in the United States," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 415-443, August.
    9. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 9766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Zhang, Hongliang & Behrman, Jere R. & Fan, C. Simon & Wei, Xiangdong & Zhang, Junsen, 2014. "Does parental absence reduce cognitive achievements? Evidence from rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 181-195.
    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. Donna K. Ginther & Robert A. Pollak, 2000. "Does family structure affect children's educational outcomes?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    13. Chen, Xinxin & Huang, Qiuqiong & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu, 2007. "Migration, Money and Mother: The Effect of Migration on Children's Educational Performance in Rural China," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon 9791, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    14. Chen, Joyce J., 2013. "Identifying non-cooperative behavior among spouses: Child outcomes in migrant-sending households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-18.
    15. Xin Meng & Chris Manning, 2010. "The Great Migration in China and Indonesia: Trends and Institutions," Chapters,in: The Great Migration, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. He Zhu & Tsunehiro OTSUKI, 2018. "Can Two Consecutive Generations’ Data Predict Longterm Intergenerational Transition? Evidence from China with three generations," OSIPP Discussion Paper 18E004, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    2. Luigi Minale, 2018. "Agricultural Productivity Shocks, Labor Reallocation, and Rural-Urban Migration in China," Working Papers id:12680, eSocialSciences.
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:49:y:2018:i:c:p:184-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Liu, Jing & Xing, Chunbing, 2016. "Migrate for education: An unintended effect of school district combination in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 192-206.
    5. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:112-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Luigi Minale, 2018. "Agricultural Productivity Shocks, Labor Reallocation, and Rural-Urban Migration in China," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1804, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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