Fertility in a Changing Environment: Climate Change, Migration, and Social Networks
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PST)
- Chair: Vis Taraz, Smith College
Childhood Migration Effects on Fertility, Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey
AbstractIn an increasingly migratory, aging, and urbanized world, this study highlights the importance of migration history - even in childhood - to study migration and fertility. The results are relevant for policies that use population size and age distributions to budget for policy services; as well as the understanding of the relationship between female labor market participation with fertility and migration. This article examines the relationship between migration and fertility decisions using the Mexican Family Life Survey. To mitigate concerns about endogeneity, I focus on migration before the age of 12; this is a household rather than individual decision, which limits concerns about the simultaneity of migration and fertility decisions. Additionally, there is little risk of reverse causality because of the time lag between childhood migration and the start of parity; controlling additionally for parental characteristics that may influence migration and later fertility. I find women who migrated in childhood are more likely to have children, and conditional on having children, have more children. Furthermore, women who migrated from rural to urban areas have fewer children than rural-born non-migrants and migrants who move within rural areas. Possible mechanisms include higher education level and less likelihood of marriage upon arrival to urban areas, and more willingness to adapt to labor market opportunities exemplified by more willingness to migrate as adults. Findings suggest that, as migration to cities increases, fertility rates are likely to fall.
JEL Codes: O15, J13, R23
Keywords: Fertility, Mexico, Migration
Curse of the Mummy-ji: The Influence of Mothers-in-Law on Women's Social Networks, Mobility, and Reproductive Health in India
AbstractRestrictive social norms and strategic constraints imposed by family members can limit women’s access to and benefits from social networks, especially in patrilocal societies. We characterize young married women’s social networks in rural India and analyze how inter-generational power dynamics within the household affect their network formation. Using primary data from Uttar Pradesh, India, we find that co-residence with the mother-in-law restricts her daughter-in-law’s mobility and ability to form social connections outside the household, especially those related to health, fertility, and family planning. These restrictions are mainly motivated by the misalignment of fertility preferences between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. Using an instrumental variables approach, we show that women who have fewer peers outside the household due to co-residence with the mother-in-law are less likely to visit a family planning clinic and to use modern contraception. We find suggestive evidence that these results operate through at least two channels of peer influence: outside peers alter a woman’s beliefs about the social acceptability of family planning (“information channel”) and help her overcome the mobility constraints imposed by her mother-in-law by accompanying her to the clinic (“companionship channel”).
- Q0 - General