What Money Can’t Buy: Educational Aspirations and International Migration in Ecuador
Keywords:Education, Aspirations, Expectations, Migration, Mixed Methods
This article studies how educational aspirations of children are shaped in Biblián, Ecuador, a traditional sending country. Data sources were a multi-level survey and semi-structured interviews that were analysed using logistic regression and thematic analysis, respectively. Several theoretical relationships are confirmed: the household socioeconomic status, caregiver’s educational aspirations and age are the most important variables that predict the educational aspirations of children. Child migratory dreams and the absence of the father or the mother only predict the educational aspiration of getting a high school degree, but do not predict the aspiration of a graduate degree. Thematic analysis suggests that, besides seeing education as a means to have higher incomes, mothers perceive it as a sign of social status and assign it an intrinsic value.