Left Behind, at Risk, and Vulnerable Elders in Rural China: What the Rumic Data Reveal About the Extent, Causes, and Consequences of Being Left Behind

26 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Rachel Connelly

Rachel Connelly

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Bates College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Migration of any distance separates family members for long periods of time. In China, an institutional legacy continues to privilege the migration of working-age individuals who often leave children and elders behind in the rural areas. Up to now, the literature has treated children and elders analogously, labeling each group "left-behind". We argue that analysis of elder stayers needs to be more nuanced, distinguishing among differing groups of elders. Of these groups, those living alone without any adult children in the village are most at risk of negative consequences of migration, while those living with other non-migrant children are much less affected by migration. We find evidence, when focusing on the consequences of migration on elders, that an elder-centric analysis is preferable to a migrant-child-centric analysis.

Keywords: living arrangements, aging, China, rural, elderly, left behind, at risk, migration

JEL Classification: J12, J14, J21, J26, O53

Suggested Citation

Connelly, Rachel and Maurer-Fazio, Margaret, Left Behind, at Risk, and Vulnerable Elders in Rural China: What the Rumic Data Reveal About the Extent, Causes, and Consequences of Being Left Behind. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9213. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655234

Rachel Connelly (Contact Author)

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics ( email )

Brunswick, ME 04011
United States
207-725-3790 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Bates College - Department of Economics ( email )

276 Pettengill Hall
4 Andrews Road
Lewiston, ME 04240
United States
207-786-6087 (Phone)
207-786-8338 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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