Migration, Schooling Aspirations, and the Role of Sending Community Context

Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
Jennifer E. Glick, Arizona State University

Family members often engage in migration to improve the well-being of children. Most findings suggest positive returns of parental migration for children’s educational attainment. In this paper, we argue that how migration is related to children's educational outcomes depends on the community context of the sending area. There is clear evidence that community context plays a strong role in determining migration behaviors. Yet, few studies have examined how characteristics of the sending community constrain or enable children to benefit from a family member's migration. Using data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study, we find a positive association between family migration experiences and parents' aspirations for children's schooling. Furthermore, we find that this association is moderated by local community context: when there are few employment opportunities nearby, this positive association weakens. This suggests that parents may condition schooling aspirations for children on the economic realities of their communities.

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Presented in Session 239: Cross National Perspectives on Economic Circumstances and Children's Outcomes