Elder Parent Health and the Migration Decisions of Adult Children: Evidence from Rural China

John T Giles, Michigan State University
Ren Mu, World Bank Group

Recent research has shown that participation in migrant labor markets has led to substantial increases in income for families in rural China, yet we find that younger adults are much less likely to work as migrants when a parent is ill. Poor elder parent health has less impact on probability of employment as a migrant, however, when an adult child has other siblings who may be available to provide care. Our results suggest that improving or introducing pension and health insurance systems for rural residents in the developing world may be important not only for improving the welfare of the elderly, but also for easing constraints on the labor supply decisions of adult children.

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Presented in Session 30: Migration in Developing Countries