Migration and Education Inequality in Rural Mexico

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Nov 2006
This paper examines the impact of migration on education inequality in rural Mexico. Using data from the 1997 National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID), we first examine the impact of migration on educational attainment for males and females aged 12-15 and 16-18. We then build on the results on attainments to compute education inequality indicators for a large sample of communities throughout Mexico. After instrumenting, we find no significant impact of migration on educational attainment of 12 to 15 year olds. In contrast we find evidence of a strong disincentive effect of migration on schooling levels of 16 to 18 year olds, resulting in less education. This effect is strongest for males and for children of highly educated mothers. As a result of this, migration tends to lower educational inequality, in particular for females, but changes in inequality are driven mainly by reductions in schooling at the top of the education distribution rather than by increases in schooling from relaxing liquidity constraints at the bottom.