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Family migration: a vehicle of child morbidity in the informal settlements of Nairobi city, Kenya?

  • Adama Konseiga

    ()

    (GREDI, Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)

Parental migration is often found to be negatively correlated with child health in Africa, yet the causal mechanisms are poorly understood. The paper uses a dataset that provides information from the respondent parent on child morbidity both in the rural and urban settings. Households first endogenously determine whether they will gain from participating in migration and, if they do, whether they will leave the children behind or not. The final choice is made to ensure the optimal survival chances for the child. This paper contributes to understanding the health consequences of raising the children in the context of increasing urban poverty in Nairobi, Kenya. The findings indicate that households who migrated together with their children in the slums of Nairobi experience higher child morbidity (43 per cent have at least one sick child in the last one month) as compared to households who leave children in their upcountry homes (31 per cent of morbidity rate). Even though children of migrants are safer upcountry, not all households can afford this strategy. Households are able to choose this strategy only if they have a strong social support network in their origin community and/or they are big size households. This is an important finding in targeting the Millennium Development Goals.

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File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0807.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 08-07.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:08-07
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  1. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Alfred O. Agwanda & Philippe Bocquier & Anne Khasakhala & Samuel Owuor, 2004. "The effect of economic crisis on youth precariousness in Nairobi. An analysis of itinerary to adulthood of three generations of men and women," Working Papers DT/2004/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  4. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Tales Of Migration Without Wage Differentials: Individual, Family, And Community Contexts," Discussion Papers 18743, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
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