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Why does migration decrease fertility? Evidence from the Philippines

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We model the impact of past migration on fertility, assessing the separate effects of relative urbanization of the destination, as a proxy for norms, and post-migration employment, as a proxy for opportunity costs. In the Philippines, we find that large fertility declines accompany post-migration employment. If not followed by work for pay, the estimated fertility impact of migration is small. We find little evidence of migrant selectivity in fertility, and offer speculative evidence that fertility disruption accompanying migration may be large enough to account for much of the apparent effect of normative adaptation.
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Keywords: Philippines; adaptation; disruption; fertility; migration; selection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of William and Mary

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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