A Matter of Gendered Investment: Impacts of Internal Migration on Child Education in Indonesia

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: This study evaluates investments in education and schooling outcomes of children in households that engage in internal migration. Using panel data from Indonesia, community and household fixed effects are employed to account for unobserved heterogeneity and self-selection of migrants. Maternal migration is found to be associated with an average 30% reduction of educational expenditure and worse schooling outcomes of children as long as the mother is absent. If the mother stays with the children at home and the father engages in labour migration, educational spending remains constant, the children’s grades increase significantly, but school attendance is reduced. These are likely results of weaker bargaining power of the absent parent combined with stronger preferences for education among mothers. If mothers exercise decision-making, remittances can foster educational performance of students and social mobility.

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