The Impacts of Migration on Multidimensional Child Well-Being: Comparative Analysis Between Moldova and Georgia

Jennifer Waidler • Michaella Vanore • Franziska Gassmann • Melissa Siegel
Conference paper Child Poverty and Social Protection Conference • October 2013 Georgia • Moldova

Abstract

Using novel household survey data collected between September 2011 and December 2012 on migrant- and non-migrant households in Moldova and Georgia, this paper proposes a method for measuring and comparing multidimensional child well-being in a migration context. While a growing body of literature addresses the effects of migration for children “left behind”, relatively few studies have empirically analysed if and to what extent migration implies different well-being outcomes for children. To compare the outcomes of children in current- and non-migrant households, the present paper defines a multidimensional well-being index comprised of six dimensions of wellness: education, material living standards, protection, physical health, emotional health, and communication access. The results of both bivariate and multivariate analysis suggest that migration bears limited consequences for different domains of well-being. In both Moldova and Georgia children in migrant households were found to have a slightly lower probability of attaining material well-being, but in Georgia migration was linked to higher probabilities of children attaining wellbeing in physical health, communication access, and on total index level. The results suggest that when migration has any statistically significant effect on child well-being, it is generally positive and relatively low in magnitude. The impacts of migration appear to differ widely between Moldova and Georgia, however. While migration was seen to have limited effect on the well-being of children in Moldova, it seemed to bear more consequences for children in Georgia, which likely reflects different migration trajectories, mobility patterns, and levels of maturity of each migration stream.

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