Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Individual Migration as a Family Strategy: Young Women in the Philippines

Lauby, Jennifer and Stark, Oded (1988): Individual Migration as a Family Strategy: Young Women in the Philippines. Published in: Population Studies , Vol. 42, No. 3 (1988)

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Abstract

Migration behavior by individuals, migration decisions and migration outcomes are not neutral to the needs and constraints facing the migrants' families who stay put. In this paper we present and analyze evidence from the Philippines suggesting that the choice of migrant members and migration destination are largely determined by familial characteristics. We obtain several interesting insights into the migration process. The standard human capital approach explains the inverse relationship between the age of migrants and the propensity to migrate through the longer payoff period facing the young. However, we find that the young age of migrants is explained by their greater amenability to familial income needs and familial manipulation. This amenability also seems to explain the preference for daughters over sons as migrants. Likewise, the initial labor market performance of migrants is accounted for not, as in human capital theory, by migrants' low skill levels but rather by familial needs which mandate participation in labor market activities that secure certain if low short run returns.

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