Many children grow up with parents working abroad. Social scientists are interested in the scholastic achievement and health of these left-behind children, in order to better understand the positive and negative aspects of migration for the families in the sending countries. This paper examines the causal effects of parents' migration on the education, physical and mental health of left-behind children aged 11 to 15 years in Romania, a country where increasingly more children have parents working abroad. Using data from a unique representative survey carried out in 2007, instrumental variable and bivariate probitestimates have been performed. The paper fnds evidence for a significant positive effect of parents' migration on children's school performance reflected in higher grades and a higher probability of suffering from depression and having health problems more frequently. The study furthermore demonstrates that living in transnational families is more harmful for girls and for those from rural areas.
Botezat, Alina and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (forthcoming), The Impact of Parental Labour Migration on Left-Behind Children's Educational and Psychosocial Outcomes. Evidence from Romania, Population, Space and Place. Download