||Children of Migrants: The Cumulative Impact of Parental Migration on their Children's Education and Health Outcomes
MENG, XinYAMAUCHI, Chikako
15-072015-06 , GRIPS Policy Research Center
In the past 15 years, around 160 million Chinese rural workers migrated to cities for work. Because of restrictions on migrant access to local health and education system, many migrant children are left-behind in rural villages and growing up without parental care. This paper examines how parental migration affects children's health and education outcomes in the long run. Using the Rural-Urban Migration Survey in China (RUMiC) data, we measure the share of children's lifetime during which parents were away from home. We instrument this measure of parental absence with weather changes in their home villages when parents were aged 16-25, or when they were most likely to initiate migration. Results show a sizable adverse impact of exposure to parental migration on the health and education outcomes of children, in particular boys. We also find that what the literature has always done (using contemporaneous measure for parental migration) is likely to underestimate the effect of exposure to parental migration on children's outcomes.
JEL Classification Codes: J38, I28