Children's Welfare and Short Term Migration from Rural India

Diane Coffey, Princeton University

This paper focuses on the children of short term labor migrants from rural India. While other papers in the literature have alluded to the difficult circumstances faced by this group of children, there are few quantitative descriptions of their situation. This paper uses new survey data about 1980 children residing in 70 villages in rural northwest India to report on children who migrate and children who are left behind. It finds that, unlike in other contexts, children who migrate rarely engage in paid or unpaid labour when they accompany adult migrants. Additionally, this paper provides econometric analysis of a robust, previously unquantified negative relationship between Indian children's migration and education, and calls for further research about the possible negative externalities of migration for children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2