Working Paper No. 08-03

The Intergenerational Effects of Paternal Migration on Schooling and Work: What Can We Learn from Children's Time Allocations?
Francisca Antman
December 2010 (First submitted July 2007, Revised February 2010, Revised December 2010)


This paper explores the short-run effects of a father’s U.S. migration on his children’s schooling and work outcomes in Mexico. To get around the endogeneity of paternal migration, I use individual fixed effects and instrumental variables estimation (FEIV) where the instrumental variables are based on U.S. city-level employment statistics in two industries popular with Mexican immigrants. Overall, the estimates suggest that in the short-run, children reduce study hours and increase work hours in response to a father’s U.S. migration. Decomposing the sample into sex- and age-specific groups suggests that this is mainly driven by the effects of paternal migration on 12-15 year-old boys. These results are consistent with a story in which the immediate aftermath of a father’s migration is one of financial hardship that is borne in part by relatively young children.

JEL classification: O15; J12; J13; J22: J24; F22
Keywords: migration; education; child labor; time allocation; father absence; left behind