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Department of Economics

Seminar on "Social Security, Migration Choice and Children's Cognitive Development"

Speaker Professor XU Shu
Professor of Economics
School of Economics
Southwestern University of
Finance and Economics
Date 12 June 2017 (Monday)
Time 2pm – 3:30pm
Venue WYL314, Dorothy Y. L. Wong Building


We present a behavioral model linking parental migration decisions to their children's cognitive development in rural China. The model reconciles the empirical pattern of parental migration choice, family education expenditure as well as children's performance. Using data from China Family Panel Study (CFPS), we structurally estimate the model. The results indicate that being left-behind is associated with a reduction in cognitive ability of approximately 0.1 standard deviation. On the contrary, migrating with parents leads to a 0.1 standard deviation increase of cognitive ability when compared to their rural counterparts. Counterfactual simulations are conducted to assess the impact of social security and nonfarm income in stimulating rural-urban migration and children's outcomes. 


Professor Xu is a professor of economics at the School of Economics, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, and he is also the deputy director of the Survey and Research Center of China Household Financial Survey. His recent research focuses on developing structural econometric models to study the causes and social-economic consequences of rural-urban migration in China. He is also interested in evaluating the effect of anti-poverty policy in China and is currently involving in several field experiments that designed to encourage the labor market participation and children's school attendance of low income households.