Abstract: This paper relates contemporary son preference in Albania to international migration opportunities and household survival strategies. Data from available Austro-Hungarian and modern censuses, household and fertility surveys is employed. Pre-communist religious and historical tribal heterogeneity is exploited to assess the salience of economic motives for bearing sons across this ethnically-homogenous population. Exogenous variation in communist era male child mortality is employed to estimate the effect on household consumption of having an additional male available to migrate. Household consumption is found to increase by about 16% with each additional male available for migration. Fertility is shown fall strongly when a previous birth is male. Economic motives for bearing sons are found to be similar across religions and tribal regions, and are also apparent in amongst Albanian migrants present in the 1991-2011 censuses of Greece. Migration motives may help explain the very masculinized under-5 sex ratios now prevalent across Albania and other remittance-dependent countries.
Friday, February 15, 2019
3:30pm – 5:00pm