Migration, Marital Fertility and Marital Fertility Preferences Among Migrant Women in China
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This dissertation investigates the contribution of migration and urbanization to China’s demographic dynamics. Migration in China from the rural to the urban areas has increased substantially over the last thirty years. And it is believed that migrants are influenced by both the rural and urban settings. Prior research in China has centered largely on the fertility transitions within the perspective of Demographic Transition Theory, and on the different fertility transition in rural and urban areas. Prior research on the fertility of migrants in China and other countries has been guided by one or more of the four hypotheses of selectivity, disruption, adaptation, and socialization. Few prior studied consider the influence of social context. I argue that context should have an independent effect on the fertility of migrants. In this dissertation I estimate both microlevel and multilevel models to explain the fertility of migrants. I first investigate the effects of migration status on the transition from marriage to the first birth. I estimate Cox proportional hazards models using five waves of data from the 2000 to 2011 China Health and Nutrition Surveys. To better understand the influence of community contexts, I next examine the effects of urbanization levels on the fertility preferences of migrants. I estimate generalized multilevel logistic regression models using data from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey. My results clearly show that the four hypotheses are applicable for understanding the fertility of migrants in China. The results demonstrate that the transition from marriage to first birth is significantly accelerated for rural-to-urban migrants compared to urban non-migrants, and rural-to-urban migrants have a lower desire for more children than urban non-migrants and rural non-migrants. However, I did not find any significant differences in the transition between marriage and the first birth for rural-to-urban migrants compared to rural non-migrants. Urbanization level of communities has an indirect and significant effect on a woman’s intention for more children for women with children: the more urbanized a community, the more similar the fertility intentions of rural-to-urban migrants are to those of urban non-migrants.
Xiong, Qian (2015). Migration, Marital Fertility and Marital Fertility Preferences Among Migrant Women in China. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from