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The Impact of Rural Labor Migration on Elderly Health from the Perspective of Gender Structure: A Case Study in Western China

Sha Cao (), Dingde Xu (), Yi Liu () and Shaoquan Liu ()
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Sha Cao: Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
Dingde Xu: College of Management, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Yi Liu: College of Management, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Shaoquan Liu: Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-18

Abstract: Aging and rural labor migration have become two major demographic features in China. Using data of 400 rural households in Sichuan, China in 2015, this study constructs an ordered probit model containing instrumental variables to analyze the effect of rural labor migration on the health of the elderly in the family, from the perspective of the gender structure of migrant labor. The results indicate that the overall impact of labor migration on the elderly’s health is positive, and labor migration in the family has different effects on the health of the elderly by gender. Specifically, the results indicate the following: (1) the joint migration of both male and female labor or the migration of only male labor in a household can have a positive impact; (2) if only female labor migrates, the impact is negative; and (3) although the effect is negative, the migration of only female labor has a more prominent impact on the elderly’s self-rated health, whereas the migration of only male labor has a more significant effect on the elderly’s activities of daily living. Our findings suggest that the differential influence of labor migration by gender on rural elderly health should be considered to ensure the welfare of the elderly.

Keywords: labor migration; gender structure; elderly health; Sichuan; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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