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Border Enforcement and Selection of Mexican Immigrants in the United States

Author

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  • Fernando A. Lozano
  • Mary J. Lopez

Abstract

Since 1986, the United States has made considerable efforts to curb undocumented immigration across the US--Mexico border, resulting in an increase in migration costs for undocumented immigrants from Mexico and placing a particularly heavy burden on undocumented immigrant women. Using data from the 1990, 2000 Decennial Census and the 2006--8 American Community Survey, this study finds three effects of rising migration costs for immigrants from Mexico: (1) A decrease in the relative flow of older and highly educated undocumented immigrant women relative to men; (2) An increase in the skill composition of immigrant women relative to men; and (3) An increase, due to stronger positive selection, in the average earnings of those groups most affected by increased migration costs, particularly women. This research has important implications in light of the barriers and increasing dangers that women across the globe may face when migrating.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando A. Lozano & Mary J. Lopez, 2013. "Border Enforcement and Selection of Mexican Immigrants in the United States," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 76-110, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:19:y:2013:i:1:p:76-110
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2012.752313
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
    3. Markus Mobius & Raphael Schoenle, 2006. "The Evolution of Work," NBER Working Papers 12694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 1993. "Immigrant Selectivity and Wages: The Evidence for Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 986-993, September.
    5. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
    6. Oded Stark & J. Taylor, 1989. "Relative deprivation and international migration oded stark," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-14, February.
    7. Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys, 2006. "Mexico : two decades of the evolution of education and inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3919, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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