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Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the us?

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  • Vincenzo CAPONI

Abstract

This paper first provides evidence of a U-shaped relationship between education and migration among Mexicans. That is, by comparing cohorts of Mexicans who migrated to the US with the same cohorts residing in Mexico it is shown that the highest and lowest educated tend to migrate more than the middle educated. A model is presented that is capable of reproducing this relationship. The model assumes that individuals are endowed with heterogeneous levels of human capital. These levels are determined partly by an intergenerational transmission from their parents and partly by an investment on education also made by their parents. Migration decisions are driven mainly by two forces. On the one hand, there is a progressive loss of human capital faced by immigrants, due to its imperfect transferability. On the other hand, the altruism towards future generations together with the transmission of human capital drives the positive relationship. Finally, the model is calibrated to match relevant moments from the Mexican and US, Censuses and used for policy evaluation. First, the long run effect of the Mexican government run Oportunidades program on the average human capital accumulation among Mexican migrants and non-migrants is evaluated. Second, a US government run restrictive policy, intended to make immigration more difficult, is also evaluated. Overall, the evaluation suggests that Hue Oportunidades program has effects that are more desirable on the migrants selection and the education distribution of Mexicans than restrictive policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 97-98 ()
Pages: 207-234

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98:p:10

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References

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  1. Borjas, George J., 1996. "The earnings of Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 69-98, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Malone, Lauren, 2007. "Migrants’ Remittances and Investments in Children’s Human Capital: The Role of Asymmetric Preferences in Mexico," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt23n6s2p3, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Understanding different migrant selection patterns in rural and urban Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 182-201.
  3. Caponi, Vincenzo, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities and Self Selection of Mexican Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Land Certification and International Migration: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 440, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Angelucci, Manuela, 2013. "Migration and Financial Constraints: Evidence from Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 7726, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00689467 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 742.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  9. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2006. "A Comparative Analysis of the Labor Market Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," NBER Working Papers 12327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "Wealth Constraints, Skill Prices or Networks: What Determines Emigrant Selection?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 741.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  11. Isabelle Chort, 2012. "New insights into the selection process of Mexican migrants.What can we learn from discrepancies between intentions to migrate and actual moves to the U.S.?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00689467, HAL.

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