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Title:Essays on migration, entrepreneurship, and parental investment
Author(s):Wang, Qing
Director of Research:Powers, Elizabeth T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Powers, Elizabeth T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.; Brown, Kristine M.; Lubotsky, Darren H.
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Time Use
Parental Investment
Abstract:This dissertation studies migration, entrepreneurship, and parental investment. Migration for economic opportunity may both benefit and burden left-behind family members. Chapter 1 examines how migration affects the mother-child and brother-sister distributions of time in market work, agricultural work, home production, caregiving, and leisure, as well as the boy-girl allocation of formal education time. Controlling for family heterogeneity in the level as well as allocation of time use, this chapter finds robust evidence of strong shifts in the allocations of time spent in formal education across similarly aged boy-girl pairs and in housework between mothers and daughters in association with migration. The findings may help policymarkers to evaluate the benefit and burden of international migration along the time use dimension that has been relatively understudied. There has been evidence on the entrepreneurial behavior of migrants in receiving countries or after they return to home countries, but little research on the entrepreneurship of left-behind persons when migrants are still abroad. Using data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, Chapter 2 examines the effects of ongoing migration on the entrepreneurship of left-behind family members. Striking evidence shows that migration stimulates the entrepreneurship of left-behind members through improved financial status. The preferred estimates indicate that having migrant family members increases an individual’s rate of participation in entrepreneurship by at least 50 percent relative to the mean. The analysis also demonstrates the differential migration effects and differential motives pertinent to becoming new entrepreneurs by gender. These findings have profound implications for the empowerment of women and how public policies such as microcredit may promote entrepreneurship through the relaxation of financial constraints. Chapter 3 provides new evidence of the effects of child gender on parental investments to children and labor market outcomes in two-parent families with one child. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, I document a son premium on the intensive margin of both paternal and maternal labor supply that is conditional on the child’s age. Parents with a newborn to six-year-old son have a higher labor supply than parents with a daughter of the same age group. A further examination indicates that the co-residence with grandparents induces the son premium. Grandparents are more likely to live in the same household as a grandson than of a granddaughter, which allows parents with a preschool age son to work more. The intensification of market work associated with having a son leads to differential developmental investments to boys and girls, which may cause differences in cognitive ability, education, and other measures of a child’s well-being. It may also influence the economic consequences over the lifecycle of parents through labor market attachment.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Qing Wang
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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