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Migration and fertility: competing hypotheses re-examined

  • Hill Kulu

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Competing views exist concerning the impact of geographical mobility on childbearing patterns. Early research shows that internal migrants largely exhibit fertility levels dominant in their childhood environment, while later studies find migrants’ fertility to resemble more closely that of natives at destination. Some authors attribute the latter to adaptation, but others claim that selection of migrants by fertility preferences may be the cause. Moreover, the short-term fertility-lowering-effect of residential relocation has also been proposed and challenged in the literature. This paper contributes to the existing discussion by providing an analysis of the effect of internal migration on fertility of post-war Estonian female cohorts. We base our study on retrospective event-history data and apply intensity regression for both single and simultaneous equations. Our analysis shows that first, the risk of birth decreases with increasing settlement size and the decrease is larger for higher-order parities. Second, it shows that migrants, whatever their origin, exhibit fertility levels similar to those of non-migrants at destination. Our further analysis supports the adaptation hypothesis. We find no evidence on strong selectivity of migrants by fertility preferences, although we observe elevated fertility levels after residential relocations arsing from union formation.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2003-035.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2003-035.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-035
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Pollak, R.A. & Watkins, S.C., 1993. "Cultural and Economic Approaches to Fertility : A Proper Marriage or a Mesalliance?," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 93-11, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    2. Jan M. Hoem & Alexia Prskawetz & Gerda R. Neyer, 2001. "Autonomy or conservative adjustment? The effect of public policies and educational attainment on third births in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
    4. Gunnar Andersson, 2001. "Childbearing patterns of foreign-born women in Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Francesca Michielin, 2002. "Lowest low fertility in an urban context: when migration plays a key role," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-050, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Hill Kulu, 2002. "Socialization and residence: ethnic return migrants in Estonia," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(2), pages 289-316, February.
    7. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 93-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    8. Pau Baizán & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2002. "Institutional arrangements and life course outcomes: the interrelations between cohabitation, marriage and first birth in Germany and Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. Øystein Kravdal, 2001. "The High Fertility of College Educated Women in Norway," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 5(6), pages 187-216, December.
    10. Zhongdong Ma & Kao-Lee Liaw, 1997. "Explaining hierarchical and interprovincial migrations of Chinese young adults by personal factors and place attributes: A nested logit analysis," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 217-239.
    11. Dimiter Philipov, 2002. "Fertility in times of discontinuous societal change: the case of Central and Eastern Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-024, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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