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Migration vs. development? The case of poverty and inequality in Mexico


  • Agustín Escobar Latapí

    () (CIESAS Occidente (Center for Higher Research in Social Anthropology) in Guadalajara, Mexico.)


Although the migration – development nexus is widely recognized as a complex one, it is generally thought that there is a relationship between poverty and emigration, and that remittances lessen inequality. On the basis of Latin American and Mexican data, this chapter intends to show that for Mexico, the exchange of migrants for remittances is among the lowest in Latin America, that extreme poor Mexicans don't migrate although the moderately poor do, that remittances have a small, non-significant impact on the most widely used inequality index of all households and a very large one on the inequality index of remittance-receiving households, and finally that, to Mexican households, the opportunity cost of international migration is higher than remittance income. In summary, there is a relationship between poverty and migration (and vice versa), but this relationship is far from linear, and in some respects may be a perverse one for Mexico and for Mexican households.

Suggested Citation

  • Agustín Escobar Latapí, 2012. "Migration vs. development? The case of poverty and inequality in Mexico," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(1), pages 65-74, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:1:p:65-74

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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:38-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Udaya Wagle, 2016. "The Role of Remittances in Determining Economic Security and Poverty in Myanmar," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(4), pages 536-554, September.

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    Migration; remittances; inequality; poverty; Mexico;


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