Children's Schooling and Parental Migration: Empirical Evidence on the "Left Behind" Generation in Albania

Gianna Claudia Giannelli1, Lucia Mangiavacchi 2
1Department of Economics, University of Florence, Italy, 2Department of Applied Economics, University of Balearic Islands, Spain

This article investigates the long-term effects of parental migration abroad on the welfare of children left behind in Albania. Although parents' migration usually benefits children economically, the lack of parental care may cause relational and psychological problems that may affect children's welfare in the long term. The phenomenon of children left behind - mainly by fathers - is very relevant in Albania where migration has represented the only viable way to cope with increasing poverty and the absence of public resources for sustaining households' incomes. Using detailed information on family migration drawn from the Living Standard Measurement Survey for 2005, binary and multiple choice models are applied to evaluate the decision to send children to school and the school progression of older children and adolescents. A duration analysis of school participation with both discrete and continuous time models is then performed. The results show that past parental migration has a negative effect on children's welfare. On one side it negatively affects school attendance in the long run with higher hazard rates of school drop-out for the children left behind. On the other side, there are no effects on the share of expenditure devoted to children in the household. These results are robust to the change of econometric techniques and model specifications.

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