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U.S. Border Enforcement and Mexican Immigrant Location Choice

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  • Sarah Bohn

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  • Todd Pugatch

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Abstract

We provide the first evidence on the causal effect of border enforcement on the full spatial distribution of Mexican immigrants to the United States. We address the endogeneity of border enforcement with an instrumental variables strategy based on administrative delays in budgetary allocations for border security. We find that 1,000 additional Border Patrol officers assigned to prevent unauthorized migrants from entering a U.S. state decreases that state’s share of Mexican immigrants by 21.9 %. Our estimates imply that if border enforcement had not changed from 1994 to 2011, the shares of Mexican immigrants locating in California and Texas would each be 8 percentage points greater, with all other states’ shares lower or unchanged. Copyright Population Association of America 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Bohn & Todd Pugatch, 2015. "U.S. Border Enforcement and Mexican Immigrant Location Choice," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1543-1570, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:52:y:2015:i:5:p:1543-1570
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0416-z
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    Cited by:

    1. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Pinto, Santiago M., 2017. "Unauthorized immigration and fiscal competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 283-305.
    2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Fernando A. Lozano, 2019. "Interstate Mobility Patterns of Likely Unauthorized Immigrants: Evidence from Arizona," Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 109-120, June.
    3. Miranda Simon, 2019. "Path Dependency and Adaptation: The Effects of Policy on Migration Systems," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 22(2), pages 1-2.
    4. Kovak, Brian K. & Lessem, Rebecca, 2020. "How do U.S. visa policies affect unauthorized immigration?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 92-108.
    5. Haoying Wang & Rafael Garduno-Rivera, 2021. "The economics of international borders," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 1-7, February.
    6. Samari, Goleen & Catalano, Ralph & Alcalá, Héctor E. & Gemmill, Alison, 2020. "The Muslim Ban and preterm birth: Analysis of U.S. vital statistics data from 2009 to 2018," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    7. Brian K. Kovak & Rebecca Lessem, 2020. "How do U.S. Visa Policies Affect Unauthorized Immigration?," NBER Working Papers 26790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sarah Bohn & Todd Pugatch, 2015. "U.S. Border Enforcement and Mexican Immigrant Location Choice," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1543-1570, October.
    9. Cassie McMillan, 2019. "Tied Together: Adolescent Friendship Networks, Immigrant Status, and Health Outcomes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 1075-1103, June.
    10. Sellars, Emily A. & Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2018. "Labor scarcity, land tenure, and historical legacy: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 504-516.
    11. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Mary J. Lopez, 2017. "Interior Immigration Enforcement and Political Participation of U.S. Citizens in Mixed-Status Households," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(6), pages 2223-2247, December.
    12. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2015. "Illegal Immigration: Policy Perspectives and Challenges," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(3-4), pages 673-700.
    13. Treb Allen & Cauê de Castro Dobbin & Melanie Morten, 2018. "Border Walls," NBER Working Papers 25267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Arenas-Arroyo, Esther & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Labor market impacts of states issuing of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unauthorized immigration; Border enforcement; Mexico; Residential location choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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