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03-09-2019

Reexamining the Influence of Conditional Cash Transfers on Migration From a Gendered Lens

Author: Christina Hughes

Published in: Demography | Issue 5/2019

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Abstract

Past research on the influence of conditional cash transfers—widespread antipoverty programs—on migration has tended to focus on beneficiaries as a homogenous unit. Drawing on feminist critiques of the contemporary international antipoverty agenda, this article views both conditional cash transfer programs and migration patterns from a gender-sensitive lens. Conditional cash transfers rely on a gendered division of labor in which the informal work of women is particularly called upon in order to fulfill program requirements. This work contends that conditional cash transfers emphasize gender responsibilities for women as mothers and caretakers, which mark their belonging in the domestic sphere and limit the likelihood of their migration while making no such demands on beneficiary men or nonbeneficiaries. Using logistic and multinomial logistic regression models and data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, the analysis finds evidence supporting the hypothesis that conditional cash transfer participation disproportionately limits migration for beneficiary women. This study broadly argues that the impact of such antipoverty programs is more gendered than previously thought and emphasizes the importance of examining previously studied outcomes in ways that consider the specific subject locations of recipients in order to better understand both the logics underlying development policy and the process of migration itself.

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Appendix
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Footnotes
1
Perhaps more gender role–conforming women opt into these programs compared with less–role-conforming women, creating a selection mechanism that may bias the results. To account for this possibility, a measure for gender ideology is included in the model specification.
 
2
During the summer of 2014, I conducted fieldwork along with a research assistant who aided with translating and conducting interviews. We interviewed 35 beneficiary women of Oportunidades and 25 nonbeneficiary women across six randomly selected neighborhoods within the Mexican state of Oaxaca as well as Distrito Federal. Interviews lasted for an average of about 30 min and covered topics ranging from gender attitudes, family background, everyday routines, employment history, and CCT program participation (or nonparticipation). The median age of interviewees was 26; 30 resided in rural or semirural neighborhoods, and 30 resided in the urban outskirts of Mexico City. Interview transcripts were first open-coded and then thematically coded to identify larger themes in attitudes and experiences.
 
3
Multilevel models are also used in other analyses in which men and women are combined in one sample. However, once the sample is divided by reported sex, there are not enough clusters by family or household to allow for a multilevel analysis because of insufficient degrees of freedom. Given the importance of estimating each coefficient separately by reported sex, I choose simple logistic regression models over a multilevel specification.
 
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Metadata
Title
Reexamining the Influence of Conditional Cash Transfers on Migration From a Gendered Lens
Author
Christina Hughes
Publication date
03-09-2019
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Demography / Issue 5/2019
Print ISSN: 0070-3370
Electronic ISSN: 1533-7790
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-019-00815-0

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