Agricultural Development Economics


Migration and child growth in rural Guatemala
Calogero Carletto, Katia Covarrubias, John A. Maluccio
Publication date
This paper examines the relationship between migration and child growth in the rural highlands of Guatemala, a region with substantial international migration outflows, significant remittance inflows, and some of the highest rates of child undernutrition in the world. Using cross-sectional survey data, a double-difference approach based on child growth patterns that controls for the selectivity of migration is used to assess the impact of migration to the US on Height-for-Age Z (HAZ) scores and stunting prevalence of children. HAZ scores for children in households with a migrant to the US are conservatively estimated to be 0.5 standard deviations higher and the prevalence of stunting is approximately 6 percentage points lower. Descriptive evidence suggests the possible channels through which migration may operate are improved food security and reduced morbidity.