Impacts of Policy Reforms on Labor Migration from Rural Mexico to the United States
In: Mexican Immigration to the United States
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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