Talk Title: Does Immigration Boost Native Fertility?
Abstract: Scholars who examine the relation between immigration and childbearing disproportionally, if not exclusively, assess whether the fertility of foreign-born women declines to resemble the rates observed among their U.S.-born counterparts. This ongoing project seeks to test whether the fertility rates of U.S.-born women are sensitive to changes in local immigration rates. We consider two scenarios that could explain why a growing foreign-born population may induce some women to increase their fertility. On the one hand, women who reside in locations with an increasingly dense immigrant population may adopt a normative preference for greater family size due to continued exposure and/or interaction with large families. On the other hand, U.S.-born women may consciously decide to have additional children in order to reify racial and ethnic boundaries. Empirically testing these scenarios requires combining data from a variety of sources—many of which are not typically found in studies of fertility. We rely on restricted birth records, the American Community Survey, the decennial Census, internet search data from Google Trends, voting decisions, as well as the presence of hate organizations from the Southern Poverty Law Center.