IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States

  • Gordon H. Hanson

In this paper, I selectively review recent literature on illegal migration from Mexico to the United States. I begin by discussing methods for estimating stocks and flows of illegal migrants. While there is uncertainty about the size of the unauthorized population, new data sources make it possible to examine the composition of legal and illegal populations and the time-series covariates of illegal labor flows. I then consider the supply of and demand for illegal migrants. Wage differentials between the United States and Mexico are hardly a new phenomenon, yet illegal migration from Mexico did not reach high levels until recently. An increase in the relative size of Mexico?s working-age population, greater volatility in U.S.?Mexico relative wages, and changes in U.S. immigration policies are all candidate explanations for increasing labor flows from Mexico. Finally, I consider policies that regulate the cross-border flow of illegal migrants. While U.S. laws mandate that authorities prevent illegal entry and punish firms that hire unauthorized immigrants, these laws are imperfectly enforced. Lax enforcement may reflect political pressure by employers and other interests that favor open borders.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.44.4.869
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 44 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 869-924

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:44:y:2006:i:4:p:869-924
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.44.4.869
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/journal
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  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. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  4. Raymond Robertson, 2000. "Wage Shocks and North American Labor-Market Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 742-764, September.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2007. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 229-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cynthia Bansak & Steven Raphael, 2001. "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 275-295, January.
  9. Djajic, Slobodan, 1987. "Illegal aliens, unemployment and immigration policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 235-249, February.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  11. Chinhui Juhn & Jim Airola, 2005. "Wage Inequality in Post-Reform Mexico," Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Feliciano, Zadia M., 2001. "The Skill and Economic Performance of Mexican Immigrants from 1910 to 1990," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 386-409, July.
  14. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: a Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  15. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
  16. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1998. "Creating Illegal Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 1796, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004. "International Migration in the Long-Run: Positive Selection, Negative Selection and Policy," NBER Working Papers 10529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  21. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  22. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 1590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
  24. Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  25. Oded Stark & J. Taylor, 1989. "Relative deprivation and international migration oded stark," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-14, February.
  26. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  27. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Bandyopadhyay, Sudeshna Champati, 1998. "Illegal immigration: a supply side analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-360.
  28. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Kevin Lang, 1991. "Undocumented Mexican-born Workers in the United States: How Many, How Permanent?," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 77-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," NBER Working Papers 7054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "The New Immigrant Survey Pilot (NIS-P): Overview and New Findings about U.S. Legal Immigrants at Admission," Labor and Demography 0403002, EconWPA.
  31. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  32. Francine D. Blau, 1991. "The Fertility of Immigrant Women: Evidence from High Fertility Source Countries," NBER Working Papers 3608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Woodland, Alan D. & Yoshida, Chisato, 2006. "Risk preference, immigration policy and illegal immigration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 500-513, December.
  34. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  36. Scholten, Ulrich & Thum, Marcel, 1996. "Public Pensions and Immigration Policy in a Democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 347-61, June.
  37. repec:idb:brikps:publication-detail,7101.html?id=6686 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  39. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Political economy, sectoral shocks, and border enforcement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 612-638, August.
  40. C. Bansak & S. Raphael, . "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1181-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  41. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2002:i:7:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  42. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  43. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Gathmann, Christina, 2004. "The Effects of Enforcement on Illegal Markets: Evidence from Migrant Smuggling along the Southwestern Border," IZA Discussion Papers 1004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  45. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  46. Hanson, Gordon H., 2005. "Why Does Immigration Divide America? Public Finance and Political Opposition to Open Borders," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4000.
  47. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
  48. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
  49. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  50. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  51. Razin, A. & Sadka, E., 1998. "Migration and Pension," Papers 16-98, Tel Aviv.
  52. Megan Beckett & Julie Da Vanzo & Narayan Sastry & Constantijn Panis & Christine Peterson, 2001. "The Quality of Retrospective Data: An Examination of Long-Term Recall in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 593-625.
  53. Gordon H. Hanson, 2007. "Emigration, Labor Supply, and Earnings in Mexico," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 289-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Pia M. Orrenius, 2001. "Illegal immigration and enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border; an overview," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 2-11.
  55. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2001. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  56. Epstein, Gil S & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "A Theory of Immigration Amnesties," CEPR Discussion Papers 2830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  57. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Welfare Migration: Is the Net Fiscal Burden a Good Measure of its Economics Impact on the Welfare of the Native-Born Population?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1273, CESifo Group Munich.
  58. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  59. Lucas, Robert E.B., 1993. "Internal migration in developing countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 721-798 Elsevier.
  60. Foreman-Peck, James, 1992. "A Political Economy of International Migration, 1815-1914," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 60(4), pages 359-76, December.
  61. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  62. Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Migration, credit constraints and self-employment: A simple model of occupational choice, inequality and growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(7), pages 1-5.
  63. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
  64. Gaytan-Fregoso, Helena & Lahiri, Sajal, 2000. "Foreign aid and illegal immigration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 515-527, December.
  65. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2005. "Public Finance and Individual Preferences over Globalization Strategies," NBER Working Papers 11028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  66. Douglas Massey & Audrey Singer, 1995. "New Estimates of Undocumented Mexican Migration and the Probability of Apprehension," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(2), pages 203-213, May.
  67. Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
  68. Wellisch, Dietmar & Walz, Uwe, 1998. "Why do rich countries prefer free trade over free migration? The role of the modern welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1595-1612, September.
  69. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
  70. Slobodan Djajic, 1999. "Dynamics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 45-61.
  71. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2003. "Remembrances of things past: test-retest reliability of retrospective migration histories," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 166(1), pages 23-49.
  72. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  73. Jorge Durand & William Kandel & Emilio Parrado & Douglas Massey, 1996. "International migration and development in mexican communities," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(2), pages 249-264, May.
  74. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  75. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, June.
  76. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
  77. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
  78. 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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(3), pages 411-422, August.
  79. Bond, Eric W. & Chen, Tain-Jy, 1987. "The welfare effects of illegal immigration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 315-328, November.
  80. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:44:y:2006:i:4:p:869-924. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.