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Men's migration, women's autonomy, and union dissolution in rural Mozambique

Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University
Sarah R. Hayford, Arizona State University

The study brings together two bodies of literature--on the consequences of labor migration for sending areas and on factors causing marital union dissolution--and employs unique longitudinal data from rural Mozambique, a rapidly changing setting with massive yet diverse male labor out-migration, to examine the effects of men's migration on union dissolution and the role of women's decision-making autonomy in this causal relationship. The analysis detect no overall influence of husband's migration status on the likelihood of union dissolution, but the lack of overall influence conceals substantial differences in the rates of dissolution between unions of more successful and less successful migrants. While women's decision-making autonomy does not mediate the effect of migration on union dissolution, it does moderate this effect in significant and instructive ways. Implications of these results for trends in union stability in sub-Saharan and other developing settings are discussed.

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Presented in Session 31: Trends and determinants in union dissolution