Migration and Reproductive Health Behaviors of Young Peruvian Women
Michael J. McQuestion, Johns Hopkins University
This study examines the reproductive health choices of young Peruvian women using sequential DHS data linked at district level. The behaviors are modeled conditional on migration status, household factors and the structural characteristics of the receiving areas. The proportions of women ages 15-19 who have migrated increased from 6% in the 1996 sample to 11% in the 2000 sample. Relative to rural migrants, the log-odds of a birth before age 18 were higher among the poorest urban migrant women but lower if they spoke Spanish. Yet these poorest urban women more likely used contraceptives. Variance components show neighborhood-level clustering of the behaviors is more common among rural and nonmigrant women. The ranked posterior means shifted over the period, indicating omitted variables differentially affected these behaviors in some districts. Further research is needed to determine whether this was due to the changing composition of migration streams or to other contextual factors.