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No longer left-behind: The impact of return migrant parents on children's performance

Zhiqiang Liu, Li Yu () and Xiang Zheng

China Economic Review, 2018, vol. 49, issue C, 184-196

Abstract: Using data from a rural household survey in China in 2009, we examine the impact of parental migration on children's educational outcomes. Consistent with the findings of a large empirical literature, we find that parental migration has a significantly negative impact on left-behind children's educational outcomes as measured by test scores in Chinese and math. But unlike much of the existing studies on the subject, we focus on the remediation effect of return migrant parents on once left-behind children's performance. This empirical strategy allows us to avoid the endogeneity issue concerning the migration decision that may have contaminated previous studies. We find evidence that return migrant parents help alleviate the harms caused by parental migration, and the remediation effect is stronger for children attending middle schools, and stronger for daughters. We also find suggestive evidence that return migrant parents improve children's performance through increases in after-school study time and education-related expenditures, following the return of migrant parents.

Keywords: Return migration; Migration; children's education; Human capital investment; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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