Migration and nutrition of the left-behind individuals: Evidence from Ghana [Working Paper]


Using data from Ghana, this paper shows that migration negatively impacts the nutrition of individuals who previously co-resided with a migrant, namely the left-behind individuals. The results drawn from kernel-based propensity score matching difference-in-differences suggest that migration for work of an individual outside a household negatively affects the body weight of left-behind adults and the BMI-for-age z-score of left-behind children. The negative impact is more pronounced for men and adults with a healthy nutritional status, young girls, and overweight/obese children. Among the potential mechanisms, the income channel through remittances does not offset the adverse effects for all individuals. Indeed, jointly belonging to a migrant household and receiving remittances only partially reduces the decline in the z-score of vulnerable children left behind. On the other hand, when the household solely receives remittances without having a migrant between the survey waves, positive effects are observed on child nutrition, which probably reflects the long-term impacts of remittances.

Adrien Gosselin-Pali
Adrien Gosselin-Pali
PhD candidate in Development Economics

PhD candidate in Development Economics at University Clermont Auvergne, CERDI, CNRS, France.