, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 989–1015 | Cite as

The Effects of Gendered Social Capital on U.S. Migration: A Comparison of Four Latin American Countries

  • Rochelle R. Côté
  • Jessica Eva Jensen
  • Louise Marie Roth
  • Sandra M. Way


This article contributes to understandings of gendered social capital by analyzing the effects of gendered ties on the migration of men and women from four Latin American countries (Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic) to the United States. The research theorizes the importance of strong and weak ties to men and women in each sending country as a product of the gender equity gap in economic participation (low/high) and incidence of female-led families (low/high). The findings reveal that ties to men increase the odds of migration from countries where gender equity and incidence of female-led families are low, while ties to women are more important for migration from countries where gender equity and female-led families are high. Previous research on migration and social capital details the importance of network ties for providing resources and the role of gender in mediating social capital quality and access to network support. Results reveal that not only are different kinds of ties important to female and male migration, but migrants from different countries look to different sources of social capital for assistance.


Gendered migration Social capital Social networks Latin America 



Authors’ names are presented alphabetically to reflect equal contributions. Thank you to C. Alison Newby, Bonnie Erickson, Janine Baxter, Erin Leahey, Francisco Perales, Tsui-o Tai, Sergi Vidal, Mark Western, Jane Zavisca, and to the incredibly helpful reviewers at Demography for their comments and contributions to the finalization of this article.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rochelle R. Côté
    • 1
  • Jessica Eva Jensen
    • 2
  • Louise Marie Roth
    • 3
  • Sandra M. Way
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social Science ResearchUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of SociologyNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  3. 3.School of SociologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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