Nanneh Chehras, economics graduate student, has been awarded the 2016 Charles A. Lave Paper prize for her research paper addressing fertility assimilation among Chinese, Indian and South Korean women in the United States. The $1,600 prize—awarded each year to an undergraduate or graduate student—recognizes research papers that clearly exhibit creative theories and include innovative uses of empirical data, honoring Charles Lave, who served as a UCI faculty member for more than 30 years and valued clear writing and creative thinking.

Chehras appealed to these ideologies in her research paper, which found that fertility assimilation—the convergence of immigrant and native fertility levels—is likely based on changes in child-sex composition preferences and not on socioeconomic factors as with many other immigrant groups. She finds that first-generation women from these countries maintain a preference for sons after migration, but once second-generation immigrants adopt the native preference for mixed-sex children, their childbearing behavior becomes similar to natives and fertility assimilation occurs.

Chehras is among the first to use culturally driven, child-sex composition preferences as an explanation for fertility assimilation across generations. She’ll use the prize to fund further research on the topic.


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