Education of Children Left Behind in Rural China

Lu, Yao

Despite China's substantial internal migration, long-standing rural–urban bifurcation has prompted many migrants to leave their children behind in rural areas. This study examined the consequences of out-migration for children's education using longitudinal data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (N = 885). This study took into account the complex family migration strategies and distinguished various types of migration in China, including different forms of parental migration as well as sibling migration. The results showed that migration of siblings generates benefits for children's education, which is particularly pronounced for girls and children at middle-school levels. But parental migration has not given children left behind a significant advantage in educational prospects as their parents had hoped. Younger children seem to be especially susceptible to the disruptive effect of parental out-migration.

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Journal of Marriage and Family

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September 30, 2015