Unpacking the Relationship between Parental Migration and Child well-Being: Evidence from Moldova and Georgia


  • 2018•05•14

    Franziska Gassmann, Melissa Siegel, Michaella Vanore and Jennifer Waidler


    Using household survey data collected between September 2011 and December 2012 from Moldova and Georgia, this paper measures and compares the multidimensional well-being of children with and without parents abroad. While a growing body of literature has addressed the effects of migration for children ‘left behind’, relatively few studies have empirically analysed if and to what extent migration implies different well-being outcomes for children, and fewer still have conducted comparisons across countries. To compare the outcomes of children in current- and non-migrant households, this paper defines a multidimensional well-being index comprised of six dimensions of wellness: education, physical health, housing conditions, protection, communication access, and emotional health. This paper challenges conventional wisdom that parental migration is harmful for child well-being: while in Moldova migration does not appear to correspond to any positive or negative well-being outcomes, in Georgia migration was linked to higher probabilities of children attaining well-being in the domains of communication access, housing, and combined well-being index. The different relationship between migration and child well-being in Moldova and Georgia likely reflects different migration trajectories, mobility patterns, and levels of maturity of each migration stream.

    Available here.