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Point of Reference: A Multidimensional Understanding of Fertility and Migration

by Julia Behrman and Abigail Weitzman

Considerable literature explores whether the fertility of migrants from high fertility contexts converges to that of women in lower fertility destinations. Nonetheless, most research investigating the relationship between international migration and fertility compares the reproductive outcomes of migrants to those of native-born women in destination countries. Drawing on literature that takes a transnational perspective, we standardize and integrate data from two different sources—one collected in France (the destination country in our study)—and one collected in African and Asian countries (the senders). Our analyses illustrate how understandings of migrant fertility adaptation differ depending on whether migrant women are compared to non-migrant women in origin versus destination countries. The researchers also discuss and analyze the role of selection into migration to provide a fuller understanding of processes surrounding migration and adaptation to fertility and family norms in destination-contexts. 

Working paper coming soon.