Population Migration, Family Background, and Children’s School Enrollments in China, 1990-2000

Xiaogang Wu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This paper analyzes the micro-data of population censuses to investigate the impact of parents’ migration on children’s enrollments. We match the school-age children (6-19) to their parents’ background information within the same households, and examine how parents’ migration status, as well as occupational and educational achievement, affects children’s school enrollment status. Specifically, we distinguish among three groups - local children living with both parents, local children whose parents have migrate to elsewhere, and children who migrate with their parents - and compare their school attendance to test hypotheses regarding hukou institution, residence place, family economic resources and social capital in the process of educational attainment. Our results show that migration children are significantly less likely to be enrolled in school. However, the educational consequences for children who do not migrate with one of the parents are mixed, largely varying with the local socioeconomic development

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course