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Fertility and migration

Arianna Garofalo ()
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Arianna Garofalo: Universitat de Barcelona

No 2022/421, UB Economics Working Papers from Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics

Abstract: Over the past three decades, the drop in fertility rates has been accompanied by high rates of migration in several developing countries. We argue that migration affects fertility negatively in the countries of origin. To analyze the effect of migration we build a fertility choice model, based on De La Croix (2014), with endogenous migration decisions. In this framework, when a member of the household migrates abroad, income increases due to remittances but at the same time, individuals left at home face a much higher opportunity cost time. This means that household members have less time to devote to taking care of the children and the consequence is a decrease in fertility. We calibrate the model to match the migration rates and to quantify the effect of migration on the fertility rate in those countries. To this end, we first show that the model can replicate the high rate of migrations in several developing countries. Then we perform two counterfactual exercises to address the effect of our mechanism. In the first exercise, we keep the migration constant as in the benchmark model while we give a higher value to the time cost of migration. The result is an increase in fertility. In the second exercise, we quantify how the differences in the time cost of migration affect the differences in fertility. We found that the time cost of migration accounts for 53% of the fall in the fertility of the developing countries in our sample between 1990 and 2017.

Keywords: Fertility; migration; remittances. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 F24 J11 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-int, nep-lab and nep-mig
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