Children’s Education, Migration and Parents’ Mortality in Mexico

Jenjira Yahirun, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Connor Sheehan, University of Texas at Austin
Mark D. Hayward, University of Texas at Austin

In Mexico, shifting demographic, socioeconomic and epidemiological contexts translate to an increasingly older population, one that is living longer, but is not necessarily healthier or wealthier than previous generations. Yet educational expansion and increased international migration among younger cohorts presents an opportunity for aging parents. Using three waves of data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (2001-2012), we find that among parents, higher levels of offspring are protective of parental mortality. The negative association between children’s education and the timing of parents’ death is robust to controls for parents’ own education, wealth, gender, age, migration status and importantly, the inclusion of children’s financial transfers to parents. Our findings add to growing evidence behind the advantageous effects of children’s education on parental mortality. However, we find that children’s migrant status, a potential resource in this social context, has no bearing on parental health.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Adult Health and Mortality