Fertility implications of family-based regularizations


We examine the fertility impact of a family-based regularization policy granting temporary legal status to unauthorized immigrants based on their offspring’s citizenship. The policy, enacted through a 2011 Royal Decree in Spain, allows for unauthorized parents of eligible nationalities to become temporary legal residents if they have a Spanish minor. Using data from the Spanish Labor Force Survey (2007-2016), along with a quasi-experimental approach that exploits the change in legal residency eligibility requirements, we show that the policy has significantly increased the childbearing likelihood of eligible mothers, even though the overall increase in fertility nationwide remains trivial.

Keywords: fertility, immigrants, legalization, Spain