Joint research unit 7235

Migration, Social Change, and the Early Decline in U.S. Fertility

Speaker :Stefania Marcassa (CY Cergy)

Avec A. Fogli

Abstract: We study the impact of internal migration on the U.S. fertility transition in the Nineteenth century. We show that fertility declined faster in counties characterized by a higher outward migration, especially towards the Western frontier. We exploit the number of acres granted to veterans of the American wars to estimate the causal effect of migration on fertility decline. Our theory is based on the diffusion of new family values governing intergenerational behavior with respect to saving and fertility. Migration and the lack of remittance technology lowered expected transfers from children, and incentivized precautionary savings of parents. Results are robust to several measures of fertility and internal migration.

[Papier]

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