Flowing Wealth, Circulating Labor and Reproduction in Central American Households

Jason Davis, University of California, Santa Barbara
David Carr, University of California, Santa Barbara

International migrants are subjected to numerous influences that may alter their fertility. The act of migration is disruptive to reproduction, while exposure to different societal norms in addition to the transfer of remittance income can generate ideas and opportunities for household family planning. Contemporary data for three Central American countries (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua) surveyed by the Latin American Migration Project were analyzed to determine whether migration length and remittance transfers influenced the instantaneous odds of a woman giving birth in given year. The analysis was structured to separate sociological influences on fertility attributable to migration from the income effects that accompany an increase in household wealth through remittance transfers. At the household level, the instantaneous odds that a birth would occur were negatively associated with an increase in cumulative U.S. remittance receipts. However, correlations between cumulative length of migration and household fertility outcomes were not found.

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Presented in Session 97: Mobility Decisions and Fertility Decisions