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Do Mexicans flee from violence? The effects of drug-related violence on migration decisions in Mexico


  • Laura H. Atuesta

    () (Drug Policy Program, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), México)

  • Dusan Paredes

    () (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile)


This paper attempts to identify the existence of displacement in Mexico caused by drug-related violence. We identify two types of migrants: (i) migrants moving from nonviolent to violent states, driven by better economic opportunities and less expensive cost of living at destination and (ii) migrants moving from violent to nonviolent states: they still migrate even if the cost of living at destination is more expensive and economic opportunities are lower. Our hypothesis is that for the second type, migrants are fleeing from violence, and are willing to sacrifice economic opportunities in order to gain safety. For instance, when migrants move from nonviolent to violent states, they demand a salary 25% greater in order to increase the odds of migration in 10%. On the contrary, when migrants move from violent to nonviolent states, they only demand an increase in their salary of 15%.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura H. Atuesta & Dusan Paredes, 2014. "Do Mexicans flee from violence? The effects of drug-related violence on migration decisions in Mexico," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 53, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:cat:dtecon:dt201407

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pratikshya Bohra-Mishra & Douglas Massey, 2011. "Individual Decisions to Migrate During Civil Conflict," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 401-424, May.
    2. Ana María Ibáñez & Andrea Velásquez, 2006. "El Proceso De Identificación De Víctimas De Los Conflictos Civiles: Una Evaluación Para La Población Desplazada En Colombia," Documentos CEDE 002537, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
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    More about this item


    Internally displaced population (IDP); migration probability; wage differentials; coarsened matching equations; Mincer equations;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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