Rural-To-Urban Migration and Fertility in an Environment of Change: Evidence from Nang Rong, Thailand

Jeffrey Edmeades, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

This paper examines how fertility behavior is influenced by rural-urban migration, both in terms of current status and lifetime experience with urban residence. Particular attention is paid to how the effect of migration on fertility differs depending on the duration of migrant experience and the point in the life course at which migration takes place. I take advantage of a unique longitudinal data set with information on women from 22 villages in Nang Rong, a predominantly rural district in the Northeast province of Thailand. I use event history analysis to explore this issue and evaluate the robustness of the findings resulting from this approach by estimating separate models examining the role of migrant selectivity and the potential endogeneity of migration and fertility in shaping this relationship. The results suggest that the effect of migration in this setting is contingent on family formation stage, and is closely tied to marriage.

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Presented in Session 165: Explaining Fertility Patterns in International Contexts