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Determinants of Mexico-U.S. Outward and Return Migration Flows: A State-Level Panel Data Analysis

Author

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  • Isabelle Chort

    (Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University)

  • Maëlys Rupelle

    (THEMA, Université de Cergy-Pontoise)

Abstract

Using a unique panel data set of state-to-state outward and return migration flows between Mexico and the United States from 1995 to 2012, this study is the first to analyze Mexico-U.S. migration at the state level and explore simultaneously the effect of economic, environmental, and social factors in Mexico over two decades. Pairing origin and destination states and controlling for a rich structure of fixed effects, we find that income positively impacts migration outflows, especially for Mexican states of origin with a recent migration history and for low-educated migrant flows, suggesting the existence of credit constraints. We find evidence that drought causes more out-migration, while other climatic shocks have no effect. Violence is found to increase out-migration flows from border states and to decrease migration from other Mexican states, especially where violence is directed at migrants. Last, return flows are larger when income growth at destination is lower, consistent with the accumulation of savings as a primary motivation of migrants. Exploring the impact of the crisis, we find evidence of significant changes in the geography of migration flows. Traditional flows are drying up, and new migration corridors are rising, with implications on the composition of the Mexican population in the United States. Although the effect of income on flows in both directions is unchanged by the crisis, the negative effect of violence on out-migration tends to reverse at the end of the period. Overall, this study emphasizes the interest of analyzing disaggregated flows at the infra-country level.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabelle Chort & Maëlys Rupelle, 2016. "Determinants of Mexico-U.S. Outward and Return Migration Flows: A State-Level Panel Data Analysis," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1453-1476, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:53:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-016-0503-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-016-0503-9
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    Cited by:

    1. Isabelle Chort, 2018. "Managing the impact of climate on migration: Evidence from Mexico," Post-Print hal-02405148, HAL.
    2. Chort, Isabelle & de la Rupelle, Maëlys, 2017. "Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration: Evidence from Mexico," GLO Discussion Paper Series 78, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. David Escamilla-Guerrero, 2020. "Revisiting Mexican migration in the Age of Mass Migration: New evidence from individual border crossings," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 207-225, October.
    4. Victor Agadjanian & Evgenia Gorina, 2019. "Economic Swings, Political Instability and Migration in Kyrgyzstan," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(2), pages 285-304, May.
    5. Marjorie C. Pajaron & Glacer Niño A. Vasquez, 2020. "Weathering the storm: weather shocks and international labor migration from the Philippines," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1419-1461, October.
    6. Barbora Šedová & Lucia Čizmaziová & Athene Cook, 2021. "A meta-analysis of climate migration literature," CEPA Discussion Papers 29, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    7. Jesus Mendoza & Nathan Ashby, 2019. "Mexican Migration Flows to the United States: The Impact of Business Cycles on Unauthorized Immigration to the United States," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(2), pages 798-815.
    8. Pedro P. Orraca‐Romano & Eunice D. Vargas‐Valle, 2020. "Drug‐related violence and the decline in the number of Mexican cross‐border workers," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 485-502, May.
    9. Jorge Mora-Rivera & Isael Fierros-González, 2020. "Determinants of Indigenous Migration: the Case of Guerrero’s Mountain Region in Mexico," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 93-116, March.
    10. Yingxia Pu & Xinyi Zhao & Guangqing Chi & Jin Zhao & Fanhua Kong, 2019. "A spatial dynamic panel approach to modelling the space-time dynamics of interprovincial migration flows in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 41(31), pages 913-948.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; Mexico-U.S. migration; Return migration; Gravity equation; Mexico;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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