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The time use pattern and labour supply of the left behind spouse and children in rural China

Hao Xu

China Economic Review, 2017, vol. 46, issue S, S77-S101

Abstract: Studies on the impact of rural-urban migration on the left behind, in particular, their time use and labour supply are few. The migration of a household member might lead to an “income effect” which could reduce the labour supply of the left behind and/or to a “substitution effect” which would work in the opposite direction. Thus the total effect of migration on the left behind is an empirical question. This paper uses panel data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), and uses the wage gap sorted by education level as instrumental variable to control for the “endogeneity” of migration. The findings show that the time use of the left behind spouse and children is not statistically different from those same members of non-migrant households, suggesting that the income effect is offset by the substitution effect. The result proves to be resilient to various robustness checks.

Keywords: Internal migration; Time use; Child labour; Female labour supply (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 J22 J61 O18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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