International Handbook on the Economics of Migration
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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.
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Chapter 16: The impact of migration on family left behind

Francisca M. Antman


It is now well accepted that international migration can have important consequences for sending countries as well as receiving areas. The direction and magnitude of these effects, however, are increasingly investigated and not yet fully understood. Since origin countries are typically part of the developing world, these studies have particular importance because they coincide with the interest in economic development more broadly. One relatively new feature of research on the impact on sending areas is a focus on the separation of families that migration so often implies. This may take many forms, whether it is an entire nuclear family separating from extended family in the source country or a parent or child migrating alone with dependents left behind. In many parts of the world, this type of migration is circular and recurrent, raising questions about the impact of migration on family members left behind and their reliance on the migrant for support. This chapter focuses primarily on the direct impact of international migration on the families of migrants that are left behind in source countries. More specifically, this chapter focuses on the impact of migration on non-migrant children, spouses and parents who are left behind.

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