How Does Migration Affect Under-5 Mortality in Rural areas? Evidence from Niakhar, Senegal

By Ulrich Nguemdjo, Bruno Ventelou

Exploring rich panel data from the Niakhar Health and Demographic Surveillance System, this study investigates the effects of migration on child mortality among families left behind in rural areas. Migration, particularly short-term, is positively associated with the survival probability of under-5 children in the household. We also find that the short-term moves of working-age women impact child mortality more than those of working-age men. Moreover, we detect crossover effects between households in the same compound, consistent with the idea that African rural families share part of their migration-generated gains with an extended community of neighbours. Lastly, we investigate the effect of maternal short-term migration on the survival of under-5 children. The aggregate effect is still positive but much weaker. Specifically, maternal migration during pregnancy seems to enhance children’s survival immediately after birth, but the probability of survival tends to decrease after age 1 when the mother is absent.

  • Niakhar
  • Senegal
  • short-term migration
  • long-term migration
  • child mortality
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