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Female genital mutilation and migration in Mali. Do migrants transfer social norms?

Listed author(s):
  • Idrissa Diabate

    ()

    (INSTAT, Mali)

  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps

    ()

    (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)

In this paper, we investigate how powerful a mechanism migration is in the transmission of social norms, taking Mali and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a case study. Mali has a strong FGM culture and a long-standing history of migration. We use an original household-level database coupled with census data to analyze the extent to which girls living in villages with high rates of return migrants are less prone to FGM. Malians migrate predominantly to other African countries where female circumcision is uncommon (e.g. Côte d’Ivoire) and to countries where FGM is totally banned (France and other developed countries) and where anti-FGM information campaigns frequently target African migrants. Taking a two-step instrumental variable approach to control for the endogeneity of migration decisions, we show that return migrants have a negative and significant influence on FGM. We also show that adults living in villages with return migrants are more in favor of legislation against FGM.________________________________ Dans cet article, nous examinons dans quelle mesure la migration est un vecteur de transferts de normes sociales en étudiant le lien entre migration et excision au Mali. Alors que l’excision est fortement répandue au Mali, ce pays a une forte tradition migratoire vers les pays limitrophes et les pays du Nord où l’excision est soit moins pratiquée soit sanctionnée par la loi. Nous testons l’hypothèse que les migrants acquièrent des opinions différentes en la matière dans les pays d’accueil où l’excision est moins fréquente voire interdite et qu’une fois de retour ils induisent un changement de comportement dans leurs villages d’origine. Nous mobilisons une base originale de données sur l’excision des filles de 0 à 14 ans couplée avec des données de recensement qui permettent de mesurer les taux de migration (courante et de retour) des villages de résidence des personnes interrogées et mettons en œuvre une méthode instrumentale pour contrôler de l’endogénéité de la migration. Nous montrons que les migrants de retour ont effectivement une influence négative et significative sur le risque d’excision et que ce résultat provient essentiellement des migrants de Côte d’Ivoire. Nous montrons également que les adultes vivant dans les villages avec des migrants de retour sont plus en faveur de la législation contre les mutilations génitales.

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File URL: http://www.dial.ird.fr/media/ird-sites-d-unites-de-recherche/dial/documents/publications/doc_travail/2014/2014-16
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2014/16.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2014
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201416
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