VID Colloquium

Unraveling the Life Course: Marriage, Family, and US Migration in Mexico

Fernando Riosmena, IIASA

Date: Wed. 12 October 2005, Time: 15:00-16:00

In this paper I analyze how the US migration decisions of Mexican males are associated with marriage and family formation and how this association varies across socioeconomic settings. I utilize retrospective data for various male cohorts from the Mexican Migration Project using bi-level survival analysis. Pre-marital migration remained more likely vis-à-vis post-marital migration while the duration dependence of marriage was negative and partly explained by the presence of small children. The pre- vs. post-marriage migration gradient was sharpest in areas characterized by recent industrialization and growing economic opportunities, while US migration was an acceptable strategy throughout the life course in traditional rural communities. Stable female employment (in manu­facturing) might have been instrumental in supplementing household income and financing investments in housing and other forms of capital. Additionally, increased levels of labor force participation of females might have enhanced their within-household bargaining power, although preliminary analyses do not support this notion.


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