Get access

Decoupling Migration Effects from Income Effects on Reproduction in Central American Migrant-Sending Households


  • This research was supported by a Jacob K. Javits Graduate Student Fellowship from the Department of Education, a Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Pacific Rim Research Program and a Dissertation Research Grant by the American Association of Geographers. I thank David Lopez-Carr for his unwavering support and guidance throughout project development and completion. I also thank the two blind reviewers as well as Ron Lee, Hallie Eakin, John Weeks, Gunnar Andersson, Maria-Coleta de Oliveira, and the numerous members of U.C. Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop for their numerous valuable comments and suggestions on earlier iterations of this endeavor. Thanks are also due to the LAMP, especially Douglas Massey, Jorge Durand and Karen Pren, for providing unencumbered access to their data. Lastly, I am indebted to the support and assistance provided by Jessica Morse.


Contemporary data for three Central American countries (Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua) surveyed by the Latin American Migration Project were analyzed to determine if migration length and remittance transfers had an influence on fertility. The analysis was structured to separate societal influences on fertility attributable to migration from the income effects associated with remittance transfers. At the couple level, the odds that a birth would occur were negatively associated with an increase in U.S. remittance receipts and an increase in a wife’s migration duration. However, no correlation was found between length of male migration and couple fertility.