Migrants’ Family Arrangement and Their Children’s Academic Performance in China

Youqin Huang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Qian Song, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

As China is experiencing an urban revolution, there have been millions of rural-to-urban migrants, whose children are profoundly affected by parents’ migration. This paper focuses on children’s educational wellbeing, and study how it is affected by different family arrangements among migrants. We compare school performance of “left behind children” to “migrant children”, and study differentiated effects of key risk factors. The effect of family arrangement is complex, which is conditioned on household wage income and children’s gender. There are evidences that migrant children perform better especially when income is on the lower end. Migrant boys suffer from parental absence, which seems to be less detrimental to “left behind children” especially when mother or grandparents are caregivers. The effects of other key risk factors also vary between family arrangements. These findings demonstrate the importance of family arrangement in children’s educational wellbeing.

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Presented in Session 210: Economic and Social Effects of Migration