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Effects of migration and remittances on child's time allocation: evidence from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Senegal

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This paper investigates the effects of international migration and remittances on children‟s time allocation in three west African countries (Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal). We focus on children of age 6 to 15 and distinguish three activities: school attendance, paid work and non paid work. We account for endogeneity and selection using instrumental variable following Lewbel (2012) approach. To gain a better understanding of how family migration and remittance-receipt affect children‟s activities, we separate the migration from the remittance effect. We find that jointed effects of migration and remittances have positive impact on school attendance, negative effects on paid work but mitigated effects on non paid according to the country. The findings show also that migration and remittances do not have the same effects on child's activities. In the all three countries the effects of migration and remittances on education and paid work are opposite. Indeed not distinguish migration and remittances effects could leads to biased results. From a policy perspective, our results support three implications. First, the importance of distinguishing between the impacts of remittances and migration must be consider. Second, as remittance can substantially contribute to raise investments in child‟s human capital, policies that aimed at increasing remittance flows by lowering remitting costs or by offering matching funds can prove particularly helpful. At national level, migration must be integrated in the local development programs for a better use of the remittances. Third, government and development agencies should increase effort to collect national and regular disaggregated statistics on migration and remittances. For this end, a strong partnership between national statistic agencies, academics and donors is useful.

Image: ©IRD Levêque, Christian