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The impact of return migration from the U.S. on employment and wages in Mexican cities

Author

Listed:
  • Dario Diodato
  • Ricardo Hausmann
  • Frank Neffke

Abstract

We study the effect of return migration from the U.S. to Mexico on the economies of Mexican cities. In principle, returnees increase the local labor supply and therefore put pressure on wages and employment rates of locals. However, having worked in the technologically more advanced US economy, they may also possess skills that complement the skills of local workers or even bring in new organizational and technological know-how that leads to productivity improvements in Mexico. Using an instrument based on involuntary return migration due to deportation by US authorities, we find evidence in support of both effects. Returnees affect wages of locals in different ways: whereas workers who share the returnees' occupations experience a fall in wages, workers in other occupations see their wages rise. However, the latter, positive, effect is easily overlooked, because it is highly localized: it only affects coworkers within the same city-industry cell. Moreover, both, positive and negative, wage effects are transitory and eventually disappear. In contrast, by raising the employment levels of the industry in which they find jobs, returnees permanently alter a city's industry composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Dario Diodato & Ricardo Hausmann & Frank Neffke, 2020. "The impact of return migration from the U.S. on employment and wages in Mexican cities," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2012, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Mar 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:2012
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    return migration; skills; employment; wages; Mexico; United States;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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