Gender, Educational Attainment, and the Impact of Parental Migration on Children Left Behind

36 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2008 Last revised: 22 Feb 2010

See all articles by Francisca Antman

Francisca Antman

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 5, 2010

Abstract

Estimation of the causal effect of parental migration on child education is complicated by the likelihood that factors influencing parental migration also affect child educational attainment. This paper exploits variation in siblings' ages at the time of parental migration to get around this endogeneity problem, arguing that parental migration after a child is 20 should have no direct effect on a child's educational attainment. The results point to a positive effect of paternal migration on education, but the results are gender-specific, suggesting that pushing a father's U.S. migration earlier in his daughter's life can lead to an increase in her educational attainment of up to 1 year relative to delaying migration until after she has turned 20. In contrast, paternal domestic migration has no significant effect on educational investments, suggesting that father absence does not play a major role in determining children's educational outcomes. Instead, these results suggest that the marginal dollars from remittances relax the household budget constraint and enable families to invest in girls' education. They are also consistent with the findings from the literature on intrahousehold allocations where an increase in female bargaining power, coinciding with a simultaneous increase in household resources, results in better outcomes for girls and not boys.

Keywords: migration, father absence, education, gender

JEL Classification: O15; J12; J13; J16; J24; F22

Suggested Citation

Antman, Francisca, Gender, Educational Attainment, and the Impact of Parental Migration on Children Left Behind (February 5, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1151831 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1151831

Francisca Antman (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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