Re-Examining the Relationship Between Parental Migration and the Health of Children Left Behind

Emily Treleaven , University of Michigan

While the relationship between parental migration and the health of children left behind has been examined in a range of settings, most prior research in this area has not examined the role of community context. Yet, the degree to which migration advantages or disadvantages children’s health is likely determined in part by where the child lives. Using data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study, a household and community panel study in rural Nepal, a migrant-sending area, I analyze the effect of fathers’ international migration on the nutritional status of 940 children under five. In a series of mixed-effect regressions, I assess how community characteristics influence odds of malnutrition by fathers’ migration status. I find fathers’ international migration is protective against acute malnutrition, as are community access to transport and money transfer services. In the coming months, I will employ marginal structural models to address issues around temporal ordering and endogeneity.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth