The Effect of Childhood Migration on Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Rural-Urban Migrants in Indonesia

25 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011

See all articles by Budy P. Resosudarmo

Budy P. Resosudarmo

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy; Australian National University - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Daniel Suryadarma

Australian National University (ANU) - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics; SMERU Research Institute

Date Written: January 1, 2011

Abstract

Developing countries are experiencing unprecedented levels of urbanization. Although most of these movements are motivated by economic reasons, they could affect the human capital accumulation of the children who follow their parents to the cities. This paper estimates the causal effect of permanently migrating as a child from a rural area to an urban area on human capital outcomes. To our knowledge, this paper is one of only several papers, especially in the context of a developing country, which is able to estimate the causal effect of migration. We utilize a recent survey of urban-rural migrants in Indonesia and merge it with a nationally representative survey to create a dataset that contains migrants in urban areas and non-migrants in rural areas who were born in the same rural districts. We then employ a measure of district-level propensity to migrate, calculated from the Indonesian intercensal survey, as an instrument. We find that childhood migration to urban areas increase education attainment by about 4.5 years by the time these individuals are adults. In addition, the childhood migrants face a lower probability to be underweight by about 15 percentage points as adults. However, we find no statistically significant effect on height, which is a measure of long-term nutritional intake, and we only find a weak effect on the probability to be obese. Therefore, our results suggest a permanent, positive, and large effect of childhood migration on education attainment and some health measures. In addition, our results can rule out any negative effect on health.

Keywords: migration, education, health

JEL Classification: I12, I21, O15, R23

Suggested Citation

Resosudarmo, Budy Prasetyo and Suryadarma, Daniel, The Effect of Childhood Migration on Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Rural-Urban Migrants in Indonesia (January 1, 2011). Crawford School Research Paper No. 2011/02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1910321 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1910321

Budy Prasetyo Resosudarmo (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Australian National University - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics ( email )

AC/DE
Coombs Building
Canberra
Australia
+61 261 25 2244 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://budy.resosudarmo.net/

Daniel Suryadarma

Australian National University (ANU) - Arndt-Corden Department of Economics ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

SMERU Research Institute ( email )

Jl. Pandeglang No. 30
Jakarta, 10310
Indonesia
62 21 31936336 (Phone)
62 21 31930850 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.smeru.or.id

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