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Migrant agency and community structure: Competing explanations for economic decline in migrant sending communities of rural central Mexico


  • Richard C. Jones

    () (Department of Political Science and Geography, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)


In response to Giddens' structuration theory, this study attempts to unravel the linkages between migration and local economic growth by moving beyond the household to the community level of analysis, and by considering lagged relationships over several years. The case study -24 towns in central Zacatecas, Mexico-concludes that remittances from US migration play an ambiguous role, providing basic income but at the same time resulting in more expenditures outside the community, which results in a lower multiplier effect and lower growth rates (measured by population growth). The reason for the externalization of expenditures is not so much the migration experience itself, as the socio-economic structure of sending communities, including their small populations and poor employment structures, which put overwhelming constraints on their growth and development.

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  • Richard C. Jones, 2012. "Migrant agency and community structure: Competing explanations for economic decline in migrant sending communities of rural central Mexico," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(2), pages 115-130, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:2:p:115-130

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-740, September.
    2. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
    3. Kwang-Koo Kim & David W. Marcouiller & Steven C. Deller, 2005. "Natural Amenities and Rural Development: Understanding Spatial and Distributional Attributes," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 273-297.
    4. Ted K. Bradshaw & Edward J. Blakely, 1982. "THE CHANGING NATURE OF RURAL AMERICA-super-1," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 2(1), pages 12-25, August.
    5. Richard C. Jones & Leonardo de la Torre, 2009. "Endurance of Transnationalism in Bolivia's Valle Alto," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 6(1), pages 63-74, April.
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    migration; economic growth; structure; agency; Mexico;


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