Male Labor Migration and Fertility of Women Left Behind in Rural Armenia

Arusyak Sevoyan, Arizona State University
Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University

The literature on the influence of migration on fertility in origin areas is scarce, and most studies deal with high-fertility settings. This study addresses the effects of male labor migration on fertility outcomes and preferences among women in low-fertility settings. It is based on data from a survey conducted in 2005 in rural Armenia, a part of the former Soviet Union that saw a dramatic fall in fertility rates and a rapid rise in migration after its independence in 1991. The results of event history analysis indicate that husband’s migration significantly depresses the probability of birth, net of other factors. Migrants’ wives are significantly less likely to desire more children than non-migrants’ wives, but this difference is largely explained by other factors. However, reproductive intentions of migrants’ and non-migrants’ wives are shaped by different factors. We reflect on the implications of our results for the migration-fertility relationship in low-fertility high-migration societies.

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Presented in Session 97: Mobility Decisions and Fertility Decisions