We examine what happens to Sri Lanka men’s labour supply when their wives emigrate to work and leave the husbands and their children at home in Sri Lanka―the effects of maternal migration on the husband’s labour supply. We use nationally representative cross-sectional data and historical migration rates at the community level as an instrument for maternal migration, in two-stage least-square estimations. We find maternal migration reduces the husband’s labour supply. The husbands are more likely to exit the labour market and become unemployed; the employed are less likely to moonlight and have lower wages; those that exit the labour market are more likely to become stay-at-home dads. Our findings indicate that policies that aim to promote female migration as an exogenous income source may fall short if they do not address substitution effects of the husband’s labour supply.
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