The%20Impact%20of%20Economic%20Migration%20on%20Children%E2%80%99s%20Cognitive%20Development%3A%20Evidence%20from%20the%20Mexican%20Family%20Life%20Survey

Working Papers

The Impact of Economic Migration on Children’s Cognitive Development: Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey


CODE: IDB-WP-246
AUTHOR(s): Powers, Elizabeth
PUBLISHED: May 2011
LANGUAGE: English
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English

Abstract:

This paper uses data from the Mexican Family Life Survey to estimate the impact of a household member’s migration to the United States on the cognitive development of children remaining in Mexico. While there is no developmental effect of a child’s sibling migrating to the United States, there is an adverse effect when another household member—typically the child’s parent—migrates. This is particularly true for pre-school to early-school-age children with older siblings, for whom the effect of parental migration is comparable to speaking an indigenous language at home or having a mother with very low educational attainment. Additionally, household-member migration to the United States affects how children spend their time in ways that may influence and/or be influenced by cognitive development.

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