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Mexican Migrants to the United States: an Alternative Methodology

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  • José Martínez

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of North Texas, United States.)

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    Abstract

    Mexicans are the largest immigrant group in the United States. There is a lack of consensus about whether migrants from Mexico are positively or negatively selected. Data from the Mexican census suggest migrants are negatively selected while data from the U.S. census suggest intermediate selection. Both data sources undercount migrants, with Mexican sources systematically undercounting more educated migrants and U.S. sources undercounting less educated migrants. Net migration techniques are used to estimate migration flows during the 1990s and obtain estimates which present a more accurate characterization of Mexican immigrants. Three main conclusions are reached. First, the net flow of Mexicans to the United States during the 1990s was about 10 percent less than the U.S. census data suggest. Second, migrants are younger and less female than suggested by the U.S. census, but older and more female than suggested by the Mexican census. Third, U.S. census data significantly overstate the educational attainment of migrants. However, the disagreement in the literature on migrant selection results less from who is counted in Mexican and U.S. data and more on the responses given to the Mexican and U.S. census questions on schooling.

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    File URL: http://www.economia.uanl.mx/revistaensayos/xxxii/1/Mexican-Migrants-Martinez.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia in its journal Ensayos Revista de Economia.

    Volume (Year): XXXII (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 1-30

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    Handle: RePEc:ere:journl:v:xxxii:y:2013:i:1:p:1-30

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    Related research

    Keywords: Net Migration; Mexico; Selectivity;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Frank Bean & Rodolfo Corona & Rodolfo Tuiran & Karen Woodrow-Lafield & Jennifer Hook, 2001. "Circular, invisible, and ambiguous migrants: Components of difference in estimates of the number of unauthorized Mexican migrants in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 411-422, August.
    3. Donald S. Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan D. Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Black, Dan & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2003. "Measurement of Higher Education in the Census and Current Population Survey," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 545-554, January.
    5. Jesúús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2011. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 72-96, February.
    6. Thomas, D. & Muvandi, I., 1992. "The Demographic Transition in Southern Africa: Another Look at the Evidence from Botswana and Zimbabwe," Papers 668, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Ernesto Aguayo-Téllez & José Martínez-Navarro, 2013. "Internal and international migration in Mexico: 1995--2000," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(13), pages 1647-1661, May.
    8. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2006. "Can Migration Reduce Educational Attainments? Depressing Evidence from Mexico," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0601, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    9. 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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