The Effect of Chinese Women’s Migration on their Fertility and Other Reproductive Health Issues

Rachel Connelly, Bowdoin College
Kenneth Roberts, Southwestern University
Zhenzhen Zheng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Our study examines the impact of labor migration on migrant Chinese women who have returned to their rural homes focusing on the effect of having migrated on fertility and reproductive health. Other research from the same data has shown that neither marriage nor child-bearing are sufficient conditions for the women of rural Anhui and Sichuan to suspend migration. Here we ask the questions, if child bearing does not stop migration, does migration reduce the number of the children women have? Does it affect the timing of births? Does it affect access to medical care with reference to reproductive health problems related to child bearing or to contracepting? Finally, does migration change one’s desired number of children and if so through what mechanism: is it through assimilation of urban views on child bearing or through increased income or increased educational aspirations for children?

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health