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The Education-Occupation Mismatch of International and Internal Migrants in Mexico, 2005–2012

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  • Andrés Villarreal

    (University of Maryland–College Park)

Abstract

Recent studies have found international migrants from developing countries such as Mexico to be negatively selected by education; that is, they are less educated than those who stay behind. Moving beyond the question of whether migrants are negatively selected by education overall, I examine how migrants are selected compared with others in similar jobs. Using data from a nationally representative panel survey of Mexican households, I find that men who migrate abroad have significantly higher levels of education than nonmigrants in the same occupation. Because men who are overeducated for their occupation tend to receive lower wages than those employed in occupations commensurate with their education, and are also more dissatisfied with their jobs, overeducation may encourage men to emigrate. Results from the regression models, which account for differential selectivity into employment, indicate that internal migrants within Mexico also have higher educational levels than nonmigrants in the same occupation prior to migrating but comparable levels of education afterward. Migrating internally, therefore, appears to allow men to improve their occupational placement. Finally, I examine changes in migrants’ education over time and find evidence that the education-occupation mismatch has increased among Mexican emigrants in the years following the 2008 U.S. recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Villarreal, 2016. "The Education-Occupation Mismatch of International and Internal Migrants in Mexico, 2005–2012," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(3), pages 865-883, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:53:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-016-0470-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-016-0470-1
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    2. Christina J. Diaz & Liwen Zeng & Ana P. Martinez-Donate, 2018. "Investigating Health Selection Within Mexico and Across the US Border," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 37(2), pages 181-204, April.
    3. Mora-Rivera, Jorge & van Gameren, Edwin, 2021. "The impact of remittances on food insecurity: Evidence from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    4. Joshua Wassink, 2018. "Is Local Social Development Associated with Workforce Composition? A Municipal Analysis of Mexico, 1990–2015," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 37(6), pages 941-966, December.

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