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Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks

  • David McKenzie

    (World Bank, CReAM, and IZA)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    (EQUIPPE, Université de Lille; CEPREMAP; and CReAM)

This paper examines the role of migration networks in determining self-selection patterns of Mexico-U.S. migration. A simple theoretical framework shows the impact of networks on migration incentives at different education levels and how this affects the composition of migrant skills. Empirically, we find positive or education-neutral selection in communities with weak migrant networks but negative self-selection in communities with stronger networks. This is consistent with high migration costs driving positive or intermediate self-selection, as advocated by Chiquiar and Hanson (2005), and with negative self-selection being driven by lower returns to education in the United States than in Mexico, as advocated by Borjas (1987). (c) 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 811-821

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:811-821
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