Advertisement

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 593–629 | Cite as

Siblings’ interaction in migration decisions: who provides for the elderly left behind?

  • Tobias StöhrEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

In most poor countries, with high emigration rates, elderly people are dependent on their children for the provision of care and income. This paper is the first to explicitly model and estimate social interaction between siblings’ migration decisions in such settings. The interaction consists of two effects with opposite signs; a chain migration effect that can cause traditional caregiving structures to break down and an opposing specialization effect that increases family members’ incentives to remain at home and provide care when their siblings migrate. The estimates for Moldova, one of the countries with the highest emigration rates in the world, indicate that siblings’ interaction strongly decreases their equilibrium emigration rates. Siblings’ interaction is found to increase in line with the incentives that are assumed in the model. Hence, the paper provides evidence of the robustness of families’ informal security arrangements to large-scale emigration and has important implications for policies that aim at the population left behind.

Keywords

Migration Social interaction Peer effects Elderly care Remittances Intra-family allocation Migration cost 

JEL Classifications

F22 J14 I19 D10 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Marcus Böhme, Brian Krauth, Judith Heidland, Toman Omar Mahmoud, Kacana Sipangule, Andreas Steinmayr, Rainer Thiele, Michaella Vanore, the editor, four anonymous referees, and seminar participants at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the University of Kiel, Maastricht School of Governance, SMYE 2013 and the 2013 AEL conference. All remaining errors are my own. Financial support from EuropeAid project DCI-MIGR/210/229-604 is acknowledged.

References

  1. Altonji JG, Elder TE, Taber CR, Journal S, February N (2005) Selection on observed and unobserved variables: Assessing the effectiveness of Catholic Schools. J Polit Econ 113(1):151–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altonji JG, Hayashi F, Kotlikoff LJ (1992) Is the extended family altruistically linked? Direct tests using micro data. Am Econ Rev 82(5):1177–1198Google Scholar
  3. Antman FM (2012a) Elderly care and intrafamily resource allocation when children migrate. J Hum Resour 47(2):331–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antman FM (2012b) Gender, educational attainment, and the impact of parental migration on children left behind. J Popul Econ 25(4):1187–1214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Antman FM (2013) The impact of migration on family left behind. In: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, Ch. 16. Constant A., Zimmermann K. F. (eds)Google Scholar
  6. Arrondel L, Masson A (2006) Altruism, exchange or indirect reciprocity: what do the data on family transfer show? In: Kolm S.-C., Ythier J. M. (eds) Handbook of the economics of giving, altruism and reciprocity. Elsevier, Ch.14, pp 971–1053Google Scholar
  7. Bernheim BD, Shleifer A, Summers LH (1985) The Strategic Bequest Motive. J Polit Econ 93(6):1045–1076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Böhme M, Persian R, Stöhr T (2015) Alone but Better Off? Adult child migration and health of elderly parents in Moldova. J Health Econ 39:211–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biavaschi C, Giulietti C, Zimmermann KF (2015) Forthcoming. Sibling influence on the human capital of the left behind. J Human Cap.Google Scholar
  10. Black SE, Devereux PJ, Salvanes KG (2005) The more the merrier? the effect of family size and birth order on children’s education. Q J Econ 120(2):669–700Google Scholar
  11. Bramoullé Y, Djebbari H, Fortin B (2009) Identification of peer effects through social networks. J Econ 150(1):41–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Byrne D, Goeree MS, Hiedemann B, Stern S (2009) Formal home health care, informal care, and family decision making. Int Econ Rev 50(4):1205–1242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cameron L, Cobb-Clark D (2008) Do coresidency and financial transfers from the children reduce the need for elderly parents to works in developing countries? J Popul Econ 21(4):1007–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clemens M (2011) Economics and emigration : Trillion-dollar bills on the sidewalk J Econ Persp 25(3):83–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Conley D, Glauber R (2006) Parental educational investment and children’s academic risk: estimates of the impact of sibship size and birth order from exogenous variation in fertility. J Hum Resour 41(4):722–737Google Scholar
  16. Cox D (1987) Motives for private income transfers. J Polit Econ 95(3):508–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cox D, Rank MR (1992) Inter-vivos transfers and intergenerational exchange. Rev Econ Stat 74(2):305–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davezies L, D’Haultfoeuille X, Fougere D (2009) Identification of peer effects using group size variation. Econ J 12(3):397–413Google Scholar
  19. European Commission (2009) Study on social protection and social inclusion in moldova. Tech. rep. http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=4348&langId=en
  20. European Commission (2010) Social protection and social inclusion in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine - Synthesis Report. Tech. Rep. June. http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=5759&langId=en
  21. Giles J, Mu R (2007) Elderly parent health and the migration decisions of adult children: evidence from rural China. Demogr 44(2):265–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Giulietti C, Wahba J, Zimmermann KF (2013) Entrepreneurship of the left-behind. In: Giulietti C, Tatsiramos K, Zimmermann KF (eds) Labor market issues in China (Research in Labor Economics, Volume 37). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp 65–92Google Scholar
  23. Glaeser EL, Sacerdote BI, Scheinkman JA (2003) The social multiplier. J Eur Econ Assoc 1(2):345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hanushek EA (1992) The trade-off between child quantity and quality. J Polit Econ 100(1):84–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heston A, Summers R, Aten B (2012). Penn world table version 7:1. https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt_index.php Google Scholar
  26. IOM (2013) Extended migration profile of the republic of moldova. Tech. rep.,International Organisation for Migration, Chisinau. http://publications.iom.int/bookstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42&productsid=929
  27. Krauth BV (2005a) Fortran code for ”Simulation-based estimation of peer effects”. Version 1:1. http://www.sfu.ca/bkrauth/code.htm Google Scholar
  28. Krauth BV (2005b) Peer effects and selection effects on smoking among Canadian youth. Can J Econ 38(3):735–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Krauth BV (2006) Simulation-based estimation of peer effects. J Econ 133(1):243–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lawton MP, Brody EM (1969) Assessment of older people: Self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. Gerontologist 9(3):179–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lee L-f (2007) Identification and estimation of econometric models with group interactions, contextual factors and fixed effects. J Econ 140(2):333–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lloyd-Sherlock P (2000) Old age and poverty in developing countries: New policy challenges. World Dev 28(12):2157–2168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Luecke M, Omar Mahmoud T, Steinmayr A. (2009) Labour migration and remittances in Moldova:Is the Boom Over? Tech rep. http://hdl.handle.net/10419/32525
  34. MacDonald M, Koh S-K (2003) Consistent motives for inter-family transfers: simple altruism. J Fam Econ Issues 24(1):73–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Manski CF (1993) Identification of social endogenous effects: the reflection problem. Rev Econ Stud 60(3):531–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McKenzie D, Rapoport H (2007) Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico. J Dev Econ 84(1):1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. MLSPF (2011) Annual Social Report 2010. Tech. rep.,Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova, Chisinau. http://mpsfc.gov.md/file/rapoarte/RSA2010en.pdf
  38. MLSPF (2012) Implementation of the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Tech. rep., Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova. www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/CRPD/Future/CRPD.C.MDA.1_en.doc
  39. Munshi K (2003) Networks in the modern economy: mexican migrants in the U.S. labor market. Q J Econ 118(2):549–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Perozek MG (1998) A reexamination of the strategic bequest motive. J Polit Econ 106(2):423–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pezzin LE, Schone BS (1999) Intergenerational household formation, female labor supply and informal caregiving a bargaining approach. J Hum Resour 34(3):475–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rapoport H, Docquier F (2006) The economics of migrant’s remittances. In: Kolm S., Ythier J M (eds) Handbook of the economics of giving, altruism and reciprocity. No 1531. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Ch. 17Google Scholar
  43. Sacerdote B (2001) Peer effects with random assignment: Results for dartmouth roommates. Q J Econ 116(2):681–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sloan F. a., Picone G, Hoerger TJ (1997) The supply of children’s time to disabled elderly parents. Econ Inq 35(2):295–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stark O, Bloom DE (1985) The new economics of labor migration. Am Econ Rev P&P 75(2):173–178Google Scholar
  46. Winters P, de Janvry A, Sadoulet E (2001) Family and community networks in Mexico-U.S. Migration J Hum Resour 36(1):159–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wolf DA, Freedman V, Soldo BJ (1997) The division of family labor: Care for elderly parents. J Gerontol Ser B 52B:102–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Woodruff C, Zenteno R (2007) Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico. J Dev Econ 82(2):509–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Worldbank (2007) From red to gray: the third transition of aging populations in eastern europe and the former soviet union. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/ECAEXT/0,,contentMDK:21378474pagePK:146736piPK:146830theSitePK:258599,00.html
  50. Yang D (2008) International migration, remittances and household investment: Evidence from philippine migrants’ exchange rate shocks. Econ J 118(528):591–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kiel Institute for the World EconomyKielGermany

Personalised recommendations