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Economic influences on child migration decisions: Evidence from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Eric V. Edmonds (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA)
Philip Salinger (Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA)

Indian Growth and Development Review

ISSN: 1753-8254

Article publication date: 18 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons that children migrate without a parent.

Design/methodology/approach

The economic components of the answer to this question are considered by examining the correlates of out‐migration for children under 15 whose mothers reside in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India.

Findings

In this data 1 million children appear to have migrated away from home. On average 3 per cent of living children aged 5‐14 in the communities are away from home, but the fraction of out‐migrant children ranges between 0 and 29 per cent. The data are found to be consistent with a classical view of migration: children on average appear to migrate out of competitive, rural child labor markets for net financial gain.

Practical implications

The costs of migration are important. Children are less likely to migrate from more remote locations. Children are less likely to migrate from locations where child wages are higher. Overall, patterns of child migration away from their mothers look similar to what other researchers have observed in adult populations in different social and economic contexts.

Originality/value

The paper considers the determinants of child migration

Keywords

Citation

Edmonds, E.V. and Salinger, P. (2008), "Economic influences on child migration decisions: Evidence from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh", Indian Growth and Development Review, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 32-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538250810868125

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited