Heterogeneous Effects of Migration on Child Welfare: Empirical Evidence from Viet Nam
Migration of other family members does not affect a child’s decision to attend school directly, but indirectly through an increase in time spent at work.
We examine the heterogeneous effect of migration on left-behind children’s education and labor in Viet Nam. Since decisions to attend school and to work are jointly determined, we use a simultaneous equation modeling approach to estimate the effect of migration on child education and labor. Since migration also affects household welfare, we also integrate household welfare into our system of equations. We use a unique household-level data set collected in 2012 and 2014 in rural Viet Nam. We find that migration of other family members does not affect a child’s decision to attend school directly, but does so indirectly through an increase in time spent at work. However, migration might increase household income, and this may also have a positive effect on child education and reduce child labor. We also find some heterogeneous effects by type of migration (migration for education and migration for work purposes) as well as effects of sending money to migrants and receiving money from migrants on household income, child labor, and ultimately child education.