Using previously unexamined nationally representative data from the Philippines, this study employs detailed measures of children’s welfare and addresses biases related to endogeneity of parental migration to examine the wellbeing of left-behind children. The results are robust across several econometric methods (treatment effects, biprobit, PSM, PSM-IV). They suggest that migrants’ children have better educational outcomes and are less likely to work, but are more likely to be physically sick, which cognitive stress theory would attribute to parental migration as a stressor. Still, the positive impacts of parental migration, attributable to income effect, outweigh the negative effects attributable to parental absence. The results also show heterogeneity in the impacts of parental migration conditional on children’s gender.
Dr. Marjorie Pajaron is an Assistant Professor at the School of Economics, University of the Philippines. Prior to her appointment, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. She also served as a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Department of Economics where she also received her PhD in Economics. Her research lies at the intersection of applied microeconometrics, gender, health, migration, and development economics.