Children’s Well-Being and Family Migration Decisions

Vania B. Salas, Pennsylvania State University
Jill L. Findeis, Pennsylvania State University

In spite of several studies on international migration, little is known about immigrant farmworkers in U.S. and their children’s expectations. Similar to Easterlin’s puzzle, immigrants report lower happiness scores than those reported by the rural population left behind contrary to migration predictions and in spite of having a higher mean income. This arises the research question: if immigrants are not satisfied with their well-being at the destination, why is the migration flow still high and why do immigrants not leave the destination for another subsequent destination elsewhere? A key variable that most applied studies do not consider is “the well-being of the next generation”. Using data for international immigrants in Pennsylvania, the hypothesis proposed is that children’s well-being may sway migration decisions in their households. Preliminary results based on a logit estimation and latent class regression show that parents’ decision-making about migration takes into consideration their children well-being and educational achievement.

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Presented in Poster Session 4