The Influence of Marriage and Childbearing on Occupational Mobility in the Philippines

Deming, Mary Beard

     This study is based on four assumptions concerning the relationship between social mobility and fertility: (1) the timing and spacing of children with respect to stages in the husband's career are better indicators of the cost of child-bearing than completed fertility; (2) mobility aspirations are assumed to influence early family formation which, in turn, affects objective mobility; (3) it is no longer necessary to assume that completed fertility varies with socio-economic status; and (4) as a result of these considerations, occupational mobility is considered the dependent variable with respect to family formation.
     On the basis of these four assumptions, we hypothesize that delayed marriage and delayed childbearing facilitate upward mobility by freeing resources that could improve the chances for occupational achievement . . . Specifically, those who delay marriage until after 1960 are likely to experience more mobility than those who married before 1960. Measures of the timing of live births are expected to have a greater influence on subsequent mobility than measures of the quantity of live births, and live births by 1960 would be more important than total live births by 1968.
     The effect of family formation is studied in the context of a wide range of variables and social settings known to influence socio-economic achievement. The role of migration is particularly important in developing countries for increasing educational and employment opportunities open to an individual . . . We hypothesize that delayed marriage and delayed childbearing facilitate migration which, in turn, increases the opportunities for occupational mobility. . . . Assuming that the social mobility hypothesis is most applicable to groups for whom the costs of mobility are greatest, the process of occupational achievement for migrants (1960-1968) will be analyzed separate from the achievement of nonmigrants, and the achievement of rural-born men will be distinguished from that of urban-born men. . . . The role of demographic variables (age and duration of marriage) will be compared with the effects of socio-economic variables (occupation, education, migration status) in determining the timing and quantity of childbearing in an expanded model of the process of socio-economic achievement. Comparisons of fertility levels and the determinants of childbearing will be made among groups classified by migration status between 1960 and 1968 and by residence at birth of the husband and wife, in an effort to contribute to the growing literature on migrant-nonmigrant fertility differentials. As marriage and childbearing are only a few of the many factors associated with occupational attainment, we briefly broaden our perspective . . . to evaluate other determinants of occupational status. For the purpose of comparison with other countries for which comparable models are available, the relative effects of ascribed and achieved antecedent variables on husband's occupation in 1960 and 1968 are evaluated.
     The findings of the study show that [d]elayed childbearing, controlling for variables likely to affect the relationship, does facilitate mobility in the total sample, but has a substantial effect only for husbands who migrated between 1960 and 1968. . . . The timing of marriage is the only 'timing' variable with a substantial effect on mobility. . . . Results indicate that a longer delay from marriage to first birth and fewer births early in the husband's career facilitate migration after 1960, and a larger proportion of migrants than nonmigrants delay marriage until after 1960. Migration, in turn, has a small positive effect on occupational achievement. . . . In addition to childbearing, the relative effects of ascribed and other achieved antecedent variables on husband's occupational status are evaluated. . . . Comparing the process of occupational attainment in the Philippines with the process in the United States and Mexico, we fnd the direct effect of father's occupation is strongest, and the direct effect of education weakest, in the Philippines.
     The data for this research is taken from the National Demographic Survey.

David D. McFarland, Evelyn M. Kitagawa, Philip M. Hauser