Family and Community Networks in Mexico-U.S. Migration
A household's decision to send migrants is based on information it has on the entry costs, expected returns, and risks of migration. Information and assistance flow from both family migrant networks and community migrant networks. Using data from a national survey of rural Mexican households, we show the importance of networks in both the decision to migrate and the level of migration. We find that community and family networks are substitutes in assisting migration, suggesting that, once migration is well established in a community, family networks become less important. In addition, the development of strong community networks erases the role of household characteristics in migration, allowing those initially least favored to also participate in migration. Finally, we show that network density at points of destination in the United States strongly affects where individuals choose to migrate.
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