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Gravity and Localized Migration

  • Michael Good


    (Florida International University)

I construct a simple gravity model of migration that explains the majority of variation in Mexico-US bilateral migrant stock sizes at the relatively localized state-state level. Relying on a novel dataset that permits the linking of Mexican migrants' US states of residence with Mexican states of origin, I show that the gravity model provides an important framework for examining the determinants of migration at the localized level, specifically addressing the choice of states of residence within the destination country by migrants spread across varied states of the origin country. This explicit inclusion of state (rather than national) characteristics allows for greater accuracy in measuring the potential determinants of migration within the gravity model, including the distance and mass variables fundamental to the gravitational relationship.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 2445-2453

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00343
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  1. Emmanuel Letouzé & Mark Purser & Francisco Rodríguez & Matthew Cummins, 2009. "Revisiting the Migration-Development Nexus: A Gravity Model Approach," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-44, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Oct 2009.
  2. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Bilateral Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 6289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Kusum Mundra, 2007. "Social networks and their impact on the earnings of Mexican Migrants," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 849-863, November.
  4. Vincenzo Caponi & Miana Plesca, 2014. "Empirical characteristics of legal and illegal immigrants in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 923-960, October.
  5. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  6. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  7. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  8. Michael Good, 2013. "Geographic Proximity and the Pro-trade Effect of Migration: State-level Evidence from Mexican Migrants in the United States," 2013 Papers pgo530, Job Market Papers.
  9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Lewer, Joshua J. & Van den Berg, Hendrik, 2008. "A gravity model of immigration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 164-167, April.
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