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Policy Reforms and the Gender Dynamics of Rural Mexico-to-U.S. Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Richter, Susan M.
  • Taylor, J. Edward

Abstract

The supply of immigrant workers from Mexico is critical to both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors in the United States. Approximately one half of all Mexican immigrants are females who typically are employed in positions that have minimal legal status requirements, e.g., domestic services and clerical and agricultural jobs. In the past two decades, the United States implemented policy reforms motivated in large part by the desire to curtail Mexico-to-U.S. migration. Despite the large female share and differences in the sector of employment of female and male Mexican immigrants, there has been no effort, to our knowledge, to formally test for gender and employment sector differences in the impact of policy shocks on migrant flows. This paper utilizes data from the 2003 Mexico National Rural Household Survey to econometrically test the effects of U.S. immigration and trade reforms on the gender and employment sector-destination of rural Mexico-to-U.S. migrants. Findings indicate that U.S. immigration and trade policies are both gender and employment-sector specific. Female migration is more sensitive than male migration to immigration reforms and other policy shocks. We also find evidence that past migration by females has little effect on male migration, and vice versa.

Suggested Citation

  • Richter, Susan M. & Taylor, J. Edward, 2005. "Policy Reforms and the Gender Dynamics of Rural Mexico-to-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 190909, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ucdavw:190909
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/190909/files/WP05-007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. B. Davis & P. Winters, 2001. "Gender, Networks and Mexico-US Migration," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 1-26.
    2. Paul Winters & Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2001. "Family and Community Networks in Mexico-U.S. Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-184.
    3. 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.
    4. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    5. S. J. Torok & W. E. Huffman, 1986. "U.S.-Mexican Trade in Winter Vegetables and Illegal Immigration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 68(2), pages 246-260.
    6. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    7. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2003. "Remembrances of things past: test-retest reliability of retrospective migration histories," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 166(1), pages 23-49.
    8. 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.
    9. Sherrie Kossoudji, 1992. "Playing Cat and Mouse at the U.S.-Mexican Border," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Calogero Carletto & Jennica Larrison & Çaglar Özden, 2014. "Informing migration policies: a data primer," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 2, pages 9-41 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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