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

Author

Listed:
  • David McKenzie

    (World Bank, CReAM, and IZA)

  • Hillel Rapoport

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:811-821
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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