The Role of Domestic Migration on the Latin American Fertility Transition

Andres Castro , University of Pennsylvania

Studies about the role of domestic migration on family dynamics, especially on fertility, have provided a series of country-specific results that are not always aligned. Besides methodological differences across studies, this apparent contradiction arises because studies have focused on testing competing hypothesis—socialization, selection, disruption and assimilation—rather than searching for their complementary nature. This paper focuses on family dynamics among domestic migrants during the Latin American fertility transition (1950-2000) to show that previously proposed explanations are not mutually exclusive. Six typical family trajectories are correlated with women’s age at migration across three different contexts of reception: large cities, urban areas and rural areas. These correlations unravel the individual- and macro-level conditions that give greater validity to each hypothesis and allow me to assess the role of internal mobility in the fertility transition. The analysis relies on data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 10 Latin American countries.

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 Presented in Session 126. Contemporary and Historical Fertility Transitions