Temporary International Labor Migration and Quantum Fertility: Evidence from the Philippines

Michael Dominic C. Del Mundo, Jocelyn C. Del Mundo


Background: This paper examines the impact of temporary international labor migration on completed marital fertility using the 2010 Census of Population data from the Philippines. The case of the Philippines is investigated because it is uniquely a major source of male and female labor migrants to over 100 countries in the world.

Objectives: To identify the trends in male and female Filipino migrants to various destinations. To quantify the impact of international labor migration on completed marital fertility in the Philippines.

Methodology: A Two Stage Residual Inclusion Censored Poisson model was used to handle problems of endogeneity and observation censoring.

Results and Conclusions: The results provide strong evidence for the negative impact of international labor migration on completed fertility that can be similarly observed for married women with Overseas Filipino Worker spouses and married women who are Overseas Filipino Workers themselves. These women who are exposed to labor migration exhibit approximately 60 percent lower completed fertility compared to women not exposed to labor migration. The negative impact can be attributed to the long and cyclical spousal separations that disrupt couple childbearing and the assimilation and adaptation of destination country low fertility norms. The findings of the paper contribute to the sparse demographic literature on the effect of migration on fertility in sending regions and countries.


migration; fertility; Philippines; sending country

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