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Parental Migration, Investment in Children, and Children's Non-cognitive Development: Evidence from Rural China

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  • Jiang, Hanchen
  • Yang, Xi

Abstract

Many children worldwide are left behind by parents who are migrating for work. While previous literature has studied the effect of parental migration on children's educational outcomes and cognitive achievements, this study focuses on how parental migration affects children's non-cognitive development. We use longitudinal data of children in rural China and adopt labor market conditions in destination provinces as instrumental variables for parental endogenous migration choice. We find that parental migration has a significant negative effect on children's non-cognitive development. Differentiating inter- and intra-provincial migrations suggests that the negative effect of parental migration is mainly driven by inter-provincial migrations. We test four different mechanisms of how parental migration affects child development including parental financial inputs, parental time inputs, household bargaining, and children's own time input. Our results provide insights into the relative importance of different mechanisms in determining the effect of parental migration on children's non-cognitive skill formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiang, Hanchen & Yang, Xi, 2019. "Parental Migration, Investment in Children, and Children's Non-cognitive Development: Evidence from Rural China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 395, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:395
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Yu Bai & Linxiu Zhang & Chengfang Liu & Yaojiang Shi & Di Mo & Scott Rozelle, 2018. "Effect of Parental Migration on the Academic Performance of Left Behind Children in North Western China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(7), pages 1154-1170, July.
    6. Emilia Del Bono & Marco Francesconi & Yvonne Kelly & Amanda Sacker, 2016. "Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 96-135, October.
    7. Atella, Vincenzo & Deb, Partha & Kopinska, Joanna, 2019. "Heterogeneity in long term health outcomes of migrants within Italy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 19-33.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ao, Xiang & Chen, Xuan & Zhao, Zhong, 2021. "Is Care by Grandparents or Parents Better for Children's Non-cognitive Skills? Evidence on Locus of Control from China," IZA Discussion Papers 14183, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Left-behind Children; Parental Migration; Parental Input; Non-cognitive Development; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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