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

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  • Caponi, Vincenzo

    ()
    (Ryerson University)

Abstract

In this paper I document the fact that the relationship between human capital, as measured by education, and migration choices among Mexicans is U-shaped: the highest and lowest educated tend to migrate more than the middle educated. I provide an explanation for the U-shaped relationship based on the interaction of two forces. On the one hand, there is a loss of human capital faced by emigrants, due to imperfect transferability, that is progressive with education and causes the negative relationship. On the other hand, the altruism towards future generations and the transmission of human capital from one generation to the next drives the positive relationship. I calibrate the model to match relevant moments from the Mexican and US Censuses, and use the calibrated model for policy evaluation. I evaluate the long run effect of the Progresa policy on education and migration. I show that, by giving a monetary contribution to poor families that send their children to school at lower grades, the Mexican government will improve the educational distribution of future generations and this in turn will shift the composition of immigrants towards the higher educated. Overall it will lower emigration from Mexico attenuating the pressure, especially of illegal immigrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2446.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2446

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Keywords: heterogeneous human capital; Mexico; migration; progresa;

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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Angelucci, Manuela, 2013. "Migration and Financial Constraints: Evidence from Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 7726, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2013. "Understanding Different Migrant Selection Patterns in Rural and Urban Mexico," Working Papers 2013-02, FEDEA.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," Working Papers 347, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Vincenzo Caponi, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities and Self Selection of Mexican Immigrants," Working Paper Series 20-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  7. 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.
  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. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00689467 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Land Certification and International Migration: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 440, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.

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