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June 2021 Sociology Publications


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Erin Hofmann

Hofmann, E. T., & Chi, G. (2021). Bride kidnapping and gendered labor migration: evidence from Kyrgyzstan. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1–22.

Because the decision to migrate is a product of gendered negotiations within households, households formed through forced marriage may have different migration strategies than households formed through voluntary marriage. In Kyrgyzstan, we anticipate two possible effects of the traditional practice of bride kidnapping on migration. Households headed by a kidnap couple may be more cohesive and patriarchal, facilitating men’s labour migration and remittance-sending. Alternately, women may use migration to escape such households. We test these two hypotheses using a sample of 1,171 households in rural Kyrgyzstan. Kidnap households are more likely to include women migrants, compared to other households. Kidnap households are also more likely to be receiving remittances, even when controlling for migrant household members. However, traditional beliefs about kidnapping are negatively associated with men’s and women’s migration. While higher levels of remittance receipt among kidnap households resembles the unified, patriarchal households envisioned in the New Economics of Labour Migration, it also appears that women use labour migration as a means to escape patriarchal constraints. We demonstrate that forced marriage in Kyrgyzstan plays a larger social role than is often believed, and highlight a new pathway through which gendered power dynamics can shape household migration strategies.

Sojung Lim

Lim, S. (2021). Socioeconomic differentials in fertility in South Korea. Demographic Research, 44, 941–978.

Background: South Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, reaching a record low of 0.98 in 2018. Understanding socioeconomic differentials in fertility in South Korea has become an important social and policy issue.
Objective: This study examines socioeconomic differentials in first and second childbirths among married women using various indicators of socioeconomic status at the individual and household level.
Methods: Using the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (1998–2017), discrete-time hazard models are used to evaluate the relationships between multiple indicators of socioeconomic status and the transition to first and second births.
Results: Higher socioeconomic status (e.g., husband’s college education and standard employment, homeownership) is conducive to a transition to parenthood and second births. However, the wife’s employment ‒ standard employment in particular ‒ is negatively associated with both first and second childbirth. Among the indicators of socioeconomic resources, stable housing arrangements and the husband’s employment security appear to be the most important factors for a married couple’s fertility decisions.
Conclusions: Socioeconomically disadvantaged married couples tend to delay their transition to parenthood. In addition, those with high SES are more likely than their counterparts with low SES to have second births. If these patterns persist, they have important implications for the demographic process and social stratification.
Contribution: The findings of this study contribute to a comprehensive understanding of socioeconomic differentials in fertility in South Korea and therefore have important policy implications. These findings will also prove useful to other societies with very low fertility rates.