Male labor migration is widespread in many parts of the world, yet its consequences for child outcomes and especially childhood mortality remain unclear. Male labor migration could bring benefits, in the form of remittances, to the families that remain behind and thus help child survival. Alternatively, the absence of a male adult could imperil the household's well-being and its ability to care for its members, increasing child mortality risks. In this analysis, we use longitudinal survey data from Mozambique collected in 2006 and 2009 to examine the association between male labor migration and under-five mortality in families that remain behind. Using a simple migrant/non-migrant dichotomy, we find no difference in mortality rates across migrant and non-migrant men's children. When we separated successful from unsuccessful migration based on the wife's perception, however, stark contrasts emerge: children of successful migrants have the lowest mortality, followed by children of non-migrant men, followed by the children of unsuccessful migrants. Our results illustrate the need to account for the diversity of men's labor migration experience in examining the effects of migration on left-behind households.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science