Labor Migration and Children’s School Quality

Scott Yabiku , Pennsylvania State University
Jennifer Glick, Pennsylvania State University
Dirgha J. Ghimire, University of Michigan
Juliana Levchenko, Pennsylvania State University
Lauren Newmyer, Pennsylvania State University

Many prior studies find that when families in a sending region have a labor migrant as part of the household, children are more likely to be enrolled in school or have higher educational attainment. While enrollment and attainment are important outcomes, they have several drawbacks as a way to conceptualize the impact of labor migration on children. In many settings, schooling is nearly universal, especially in primary and middle school. Thus, school enrollment and attainment may lack sufficient variation. As an alternative indicator of children’s schooling outcomes, we propose characteristics of school quality. Using data from the Family Migration and Early Life Outcomes (FAMELO) Project in Chitwan, Nepal, we find that children from households with labor migrants attend schools with higher quality as defined by two dimensions: private schools (as opposed to public) and schools that require additional fees.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth