Impact of Rural-Urban Migration on Human Capital Development of Migrant Children

Xin Meng, Australian National University
Chikako Yamauchi, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan

China is changing from an agricultural society into a modern society and accompanying this process is the largest rural-urban migration movement in human history. Such a migration inevitably affects a large cohort of children. Currently China has more than 50 million children who are growing up without parents due to their parental migration choices. Understanding how their health and education outcomes have been affected, thus, is very important. In this paper we use the Rural-Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) Study, a unique longitudinal data, to study the impact of parental migration experience on health and education outcomes of their left-behind children in short and long run. We find that children who grew up away from mothers exhibit significantly lower height and weight, while children who grew up away from fathers indicate lower test scores in Chinese and math.

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Presented in Session 90: Internal Migration, Emigration, and Social and Economic Change