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Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan

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  • Mansuri, Ghazala

Abstract

Temporary economic migration is undertaken largely in response to resource constraints. This is evident in the volume of remittances sent back by migrants to their families of origin. In agricultural settings, where those left behind are likely to face considerable exposure to uninsured income risk, such resource flows should translate into better risk bearing capacity. In this paper the author takes up this question by asking whether economic migration allows households to avoid costly risk coping strategies. She focuses on early child growth since there is considerable epidemiological evidence that very young children are particularly vulnerable to shocks that lead to growth faltering, with substantial long-term health consequences. The data come from rural Pakistan, where, as in the rest of Asia, son preference is substantial and there are large gender gaps in most developmental outcomes. As such, the interest is in examining also whether migration-induced resource flows allow households to extend better nutrition and health care protection to girls. Recent work on the intra-household allocation of resources and risk has also shown that gender differences in the relative burden of risk may be important and that the allocation of resources to daughters is often one margin along which poor households adjust to uninsurable transitory income shocks. After accounting for selection into migration, the results indicate that migration has a substantially larger positive impact on growth outcomes for young girls. And the growth advantage is sustained among older girls, suggesting potential intergenerational benefits of averting nutritional and other health shocks for girls in early childhood. These results are further validated by restricting the sample to migrant households and comparing the growth outcomes of siblings before and after migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3946, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3946
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Steven Stillman, 2011. "The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1297-1318, November.
    2. Imai, Katsushi S. & Gaiha, Raghav & Ali, Abdilahi & Kaicker, Nidhi, 2014. "Remittances, growth and poverty: New evidence from Asian countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 524-538.
    3. Carletto, Calogero & Covarrubias, Katia & Maluccio, John A., 2011. "Migration and child growth in rural Guatemala," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 16-27, February.
    4. Ren Mu & Alan Brauw, 2015. "Migration and young child nutrition: evidence from rural China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 631-657, July.
    5. Mont, Daniel & Nguyen, Cuong, 2013. "Does Parental Disability Matter to Child Education? Evidence from Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 88-107.
    6. Kristina A. Schapiro, 2009. "Migration and Educational Outcomes of Children," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-57, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Oct 2009.
    7. de Brauw, Alan & Mu, Ren, 2012. "Unattended but not undernourished: young children left behind in rural China:," IFPRI discussion papers 1191, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Mauricio Cárdenas & Carlos Medina & Andrés Trejos, 2010. "Measuring Economic and Social Impacts of Migration in Colombia: New evidence," Borradores de Economia 601, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. 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.
    10. Nguyen Viet Cuong & Daniel Mont, 2012. "Economic impacts of international migration and remittances on household welfare in Vietnam," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 144-163, June.
    11. Lars Osberg & Jiaping Shao & Kuan Xu, 2009. "The growth of poor children in China 1991–2000: why food subsidies may matter," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 89-108, April.
    12. Ann Vogel & Kim Korinek, 2012. "Passing by the Girls? Remittance Allocation for Educational Expenditures and Social Inequality in Nepal’s Households 2003–2004," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 61-100, March.
    13. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration, school attainment, and child labor : evidence from rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3945, The World Bank.
    14. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Anthropology; Youth and Governance; Gender and Development; Adolescent Health;

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