DP7440 Impact of Paternal Temporary Absence on Children Left Behind

Author(s): Alison L Booth, Yuji Tamura
Publication Date: September 2009
Keyword(s): child labor, human capital investment, parental absence, schooling, temporary migration, Vietnam, VLSS
JEL(s): I22, O15, P36
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7440

Using the first two waves of the Vietnam Living Standards Survey, we investigate how a father’s temporary absence affects children left behind in terms of their school attendance, household expenditures on education, and nonhousework labor supply in the 1990s. The estimating subsample is children aged 7-18 in households in which both parents usually coreside and the mother has not been absent. Our results indicate that paternal temporary absence increases nonhousework labor supply by his son. The longer the absence of the father, the larger the impact. One additional month of paternal temporary absence increases a son’s nonhousework labor supply by approximately one week. However, a daughter’s nonhousework labor supply is not affected. We find no evidence that paternal temporary absence influences his children in terms of school attendance or education-related household expenditures.