The School Progression of Children of Migrants

Zequn Tang , University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

The massive rural-to-urban migration in China has caused widespread separate living arrangements for rural children and their parents. I examine the effect of parental migration on the subsequent school progression of left-behind children in rural China and some mediating factors underlying the relationship. Using longitudinal data from the 2010-2014 China Family Panel Studies, I compare the hazard rates of school interruption between children of migrant parent(s) and children living with both parents. Propensity scores are calculated to control for the probability of having migrant parent(s). The findings show that parental migration, especially father-only migration and both-parents migration, raises the likelihood of children dropping out or being held back one or two grades. Remittances and three-generation arrangement demonstrate protective effects for children whose father migrates and children whose both parents migrate, respectively. Housework is found to be one of the main channels through which parental migration interrupts left-behind children’s school progression.

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 Presented in Session 240. Migration and Educational Outcomes