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Impacts of Policy Reforms on Labor Migration from Rural Mexico to the United States

In: Mexican Immigration to the United States

  • Susan M. Richter
  • J. Edward Taylor
  • Antonio Yúnez-Naude

Using new survey data from Mexico, a dynamic econometric model is estimated to test the effect of policy changes on the flow of migrant labor from rural Mexico to the United States and test for differential effects of policy changes on male and female migration. We find that both IRCA and NAFTA reduced the share of rural Mexicans working in the United States. Increased U.S. border enforcement had the opposite effect. The impacts of these policy variables are small compared with those of macroeconomic variables. The influence of policy and macroeconomic variables is small compared with that of migration networks, as reflected in past migration by villagers to the United States. The effects of all of these variables on migration propensities differ, quantitatively and in some cases qualitatively, by gender.

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This chapter was published in:
  • George J. Borjas, 2007. "Mexican Immigration to the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj06-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0101.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0101
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Antonio Yunez--Naude, 2003. "The Dismantling of CONASUPO, a Mexican State Trader in Agriculture," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 97-122, January.
    2. Dawn D. Thilmany, 1996. "FLC Usage Among California Growers under IRCA: An Empirical Analysis of Farm Labor Market Risk Management," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 946-960.
    3. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
    4. Robinson, Sherman & Burfisher, Mary E. & Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raul & Thierfelder, Karen E., 1993. "Agricultural policies and migration in a U.S.-Mexico free trade area: A computable general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 673-701.
    5. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
    6. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2004. "Remembrances of Things Past: Test-Retest Reliability of Retrospective Migration Histories," Labor and Demography 0403026, EconWPA.
    7. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
    8. Santiago Levy & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 1992. "Mexican Agriculture in the Free Trade Agreement: Transition Problems in Economic Reform," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 63, OECD Publishing.
    9. Philip L. Martin, 1993. "Trade and Migration: NAFTA and Agriculture," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa38.
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