The Impact of Migration on Children Left Behind in Moldova

Gassmann, Franziska, Melissa Siegel, and Michaella Vanore (2012). "The Impact of Migration on Children Left Behind in Moldova" Paper presented at the 9th annual conference of the HDCA, 5-7 September 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate the well-being of children left behind by migrant caregivers in Moldova. Using data derived from a nationally-representative, large-scale household survey conducted between September and December of 2011 among 3, 571 households in all regions of Moldova (except Transnistria) with a total sample of 1, 983 households containing at least one child aged 17 or below, we empirically look at different dimensions of child well-being in this paper. Well-being of children in Moldova is broken down by 8 different dimensions of well-being. Each indicator is examined individually and then aggregated together as an index. Well-being is also broken down by age group, migration status of the household (current migrant, return migrant and no migration experience) and by who has migrated within the household. We find that age matters for well-being across different dimensions. We also find that in general children living in return migrant households are better off across most dimensions than both children in a current migrant household and children in households with no migration experience. We find that children in current migrant households are overall slightly better off than children in non-migrant households. With regard to who migrates, we find that children in households with the mother that migrates are significantly worse off in the education dimension but significantly better off in the material dimension suggestion that there is a high risk and reward for female migration.
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