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Adult children labour migration and parent health: evidence from Indonesian panel data

Alfiah Hasanah (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Business, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia)
Bayu Kharisma (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Business, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia)
Sutyastie Soemitro Remi (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Business, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 26 February 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

126

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the impact of adult child labour migration on the health of parents and the possible mechanism that contributes to the health of families left behind.

Design/methodology/approach

Several indicators of parents’ health are analysed and several subgroups – parents of migrant sons, parents of migrant daughters, parents aged 50+ and parents who live in rural areas are investigated. The data from Indonesia Family Life Survey are used and the fixed effects method is used to address potential endogeneity and instrumental variables are applied in the sensitivity analysis.

Findings

The labour out-migration of adult children has a positive and significant association with the health status of the parent left behind. The parents of migrant children are more likely to have a better self-rated health status, fewer episodes of morbidity symptoms, fewer unhealthy days, fewer visits to outpatient care and are less likely to be on medication than the parents of non-migrant children.

Research limitations/implications

The study design in a longitudinal setting, however, there is a relatively many years gap between waves could provide insufficient statistical power for measuring health variations. Future studies should consider to explore possible health outcomes for parents who co-resided with an adult child and the types and severity of various disease conditions.

Practical implications

Highlights challenges in health-care provision for older people in Indonesia and the possible contribution of health disparities in developing countries.

Originality/value

Explores the impact of out-migration of adult children on the health of parents left behind, using very recent data of over a long period of a longitudinal design.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Authors’ Note: The research was conducted based on IFLS-2, IFLS-3, IFLS-4 IFLS-5 conducted by RAND. The IFLS data are open for public use after registration on their website www.rand.org/well-being/social-and-behavioral-policy/data/FLS/IFLS.htmlA sincere gratitude to Dr Silvia Mendolia and Dr Oleg Yerokhin for their valuable and constructive suggestions during the planning and development of the research work.

Citation

Hasanah, A., Kharisma, B. and Remi, S.S. (2021), "Adult children labour migration and parent health: evidence from Indonesian panel data", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 130-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-06-2020-0057

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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