Migration, Remittances, and Children’s Schooling in Haiti

In this paper, we focus on the use of remittances to school children remaining in migrant communities in Haiti. After addressing the endogeneity of remittance receipt, we find that remittances raise school attendance for all children in some communities regardless of whether they have household members abroad or not; however, in other communities, we only observe this effect among children living in households that do not experience any family out-migration. Our finding underscores the simultaneous and opposing impacts of household out-migration and remittance receipt on children’s schooling. While the receipt of remittances by the household lifts budget constraints and raises the children’s likelihood of being schooled, the disruptive effect of household out-migration imposes an economic burden on the remaining household members and reduces their likelihood of being schooled. As such, remittances ameliorate the negative disruptive effect of household out-migration on children’s schooling and, given the substantial costs of schooling in Haiti, contribute to the accumulation of human capital in the midst of extreme poverty.