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Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development

  • Macours, Karen
  • Vakis, Renos

This paper provides unique evidence of the positive consequences of seasonal migration for investments in early childhood development. We analyse migration in a poor shock-prone border region in rural Nicaragua where it offers one of the main household income diversification and risk coping strategies. IV estimates show, somewhat surprisingly, that mother?s migration has a positive effect on early cognitive development. We attribute these findings to changes in income and to the intra-household empowerment gains resulting from mother?s migration, which offset potential negative ECD effects from temporary lack of parenting. This paper, hence, illustrates how increased opportunities in seasonal migration due to higher South?South mobility might positively affect early childhood development and as such long term poverty reduction.

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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/48.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-48
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  1. Dean Yang, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Macours, Karen & Schady, Norbert & Vakis, Renos, 2008. "Cash transfers, behavioral changes, and cognitive development in early childhood : evidence from a randomized experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4759, The World Bank.
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  9. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  10. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
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  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  24. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2009. "Changing households'investments and aspirations through social interactions : evidence from a randomized transfer program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5137, The World Bank.
  25. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosensweig & James P. Smith, 2003. "The Earnings of US immigrants," Labor and Demography 0312007, EconWPA.
  26. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3906, The World Bank.
  27. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration, school attainment, and child labor : evidence from rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3945, The World Bank.
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