Women’s Education, International Migration and the Educational Attainment of the Next Generation: The Tale of Two Countries

Kate H. Choi, University of California, Los Angeles

I examine the role of migration in the reproduction of education in Mexico and the U.S. Specifically, I investigate how women’s education shape their migration behavior and how the resulting changes in migration affect marriage, fertility, and offspring’s education. To accomplish this goal, I construct a demographic model that takes into account transmission of education, migration, marriage, and fertility. I then use the constructed demographic model to simulate the effects of hypothetical changes in the educational characteristics of women in Mexico and estimate their effects on the distribution of schooling in the next generation in Mexico and the U.S. Improvements in women’s education in Mexico have beneficial effects on the distribution of schooling in both countries. The beneficial effects are offset by the lower rates of fertility among better educated women, but reinforced by the more favorable matches that women make. Migration reinforces the effects in the U.S. and offsets the effects in Mexico.

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Presented in Session 25: Demography of Educational Attainment