Migration and Experienced Utility of Left-behind Parents: Evidence from Rural China
85 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020
Date Written: May 29, 2020
Using panel data on experienced utility measured by the Day Reconstruction Method, this paper examines the impact of children’s migration on the well-being of left-behind parents. Exploiting exogenous variation in exposure to employment shocks at migration destinations for identification, we find that left-behind parents experienced lower utility when their adult children migrated. Part of this negative effect is due to increased working time and less time spent in social activities, and part is due to reduced utility within activity type. We find evidence that this latter effect is associated with less physical care and psychological support from children who have migrated. Our findings suggest these negative effects dominate the possible benefits of greater income associated with children’s migration.
Keywords: migration, the left behind, experienced utility, time-use, subjective well-being
JEL Classification: J22, O15, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation