In this paper, Xiaoman Luo investigates how parental out-migration affects the schooling outcomes of children left behind in rural China. Previous studies have investigated specific mechanisms of this effect using reduced-form models. This paper expands on this by separating direct and indirect effects to reveal the underlying mechanism of how the migration decision interacts with the child’s incentives and behavior, which provides a deeper understanding and clearer guidance for economists and policy makers. The major contribution of this paper is to establish a theoretical framework to clarify different pathways involved in the short-term effect of parental migration on the child’s schooling performance, and to empirically quantify the importance of these pathways through a structural equation model.
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Ph.D. student, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Xiaoman Luo is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Her research interest lies in development economics and labor economics, especially child education and child health. Her recent studies include rural-to-urban parental migration in China, the role that market structure plays in rural-urban price gaps in China, and improvement on measures of economic development using night light data.