IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Remittances and Children's Capabilities: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, 2005-2008


  • Kathryn Anderson
  • Antje Kroeger


The Kyrgyz Republic is one of the largest recipients of international remittances in the world; from a Balance of Payments measure of remittances, it ranked tenth in the world in 2008 in the ratio of remittances to GDP, a rapid increase from 30th place in 2004.Remittances can be used to maintain the household's standard of living by providing income to families with unemployed and underemployed adult members. Remittances can also be used to promote investment not only in businesses and communities but also in people. In this paper, we examine the role that remittances have played in the Kyrgyz Republic in promoting investments in children. Based on the capabilities approach to well-being initiated by Sen (2010), we look at the impact of remittances and domestic transfer payments primarily from internal migration on children's education and health. Our outcomes include enrollment in school and preschool, expenditures, stunting and wasting of preschool children, and health habits of older children. We use unique panel data from the Kyrgyz Republic for 2005-2008 and thus control for some of the biases inherent in cross-sectional studies of remittances and family outcomes. We find that overall remittances and domestic transfers have not promoted investments in the human capital of children. Specifically, preschool enrollments were higher in the urban north but secondary school enrollments were lower in other regions in remittance receiving households; expenditures were also negatively affected in the south and the mountain areas. These negative enrollment results were larger for girls than for boys. We also found evidence of stunting and wasting among young children and worse health habits among boys in remittance or transfer receiving households. In the long run, Kyrgyzstan needs human capital development for growth; our results suggest that remittances are not providing the boost needed in human capital to promote development in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathryn Anderson & Antje Kroeger, 2011. "Remittances and Children's Capabilities: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, 2005-2008," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 430, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0430

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Georges, Annie & Pozo, Susan, 2008. "Migration, Remittances and Children’s Schooling in Haiti," IZA Discussion Papers 3657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, "undated". "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    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. Booth, Alison L & Tamura, Yuji, 2009. "Impact of Paternal Temporary Absence on Children Left Behind," CEPR Discussion Papers 7440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Joyce J. Chen, 2006. "Migration and Imperfect Monitoring: Implications for Intra-Household Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 227-231, May.
    6. Konseiga, Adama, 2008. "Family Migration: A Vehicle of Child Morbidity in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi City, Kenya?," IZA Discussion Papers 3567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Acosta, Pablo & Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lopez, J. Humberto, 2007. "The impact of remittances on poverty and human capital : evidence from Latin American household surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4247, The World Bank.
    8. Alan de Brauw & John Giles, 2017. "Migrant Opportunity and the Educational Attainment of Youth in Rural China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(1), pages 272-311.
    9. Konseiga, Adama & Zulu, Eliya Msiyaphazi & Yé, Yazoumé, 2006. "Assessing the Effect of Mother’s Migration on Childhood Mortality in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi," IZA Discussion Papers 2295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Mu, Ren & van de Walle, Dominique, 2011. "Left behind to farm? Women's labor re-allocation in rural China," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 83-97.
    11. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration, school attainment, and child labor : evidence from rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3945, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Francisca Antman, 2012. "Gender, educational attainment, and the impact of parental migration on children left behind," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1187-1214, October.

    More about this item


    Children’s education and health; Remittances; Kyrgyzstan; Central Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Aleksandra Polak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.