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Does Migration Make Rural Households More Productive? Evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • J. Edward Taylor

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Alejandro López-Feldman

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

Abstract

The migration of labor out of rural areas and the flow of remittances from migrants to rural households is an increasingly important feature of less developed countries. This paper explores ways in which migration influences incomes and productivity of land and human capital in rural households over time, using new household survey data from Mexico. Our findings suggest that a massive increase in migration to the United States increased per-capita incomes via remittances and also by raising land productivity in migrant-sending households. They do not support the pessimistic view that migration discourages production in migrant-sending economies, nor the view implicit in separable agricultural household models that migration and remittances influence household incomes but not production.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Edward Taylor & Alejandro López-Feldman, 2007. "Does Migration Make Rural Households More Productive? Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 07-10, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0710
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    4. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1992. "Household Composition, Labor Markets, and Labor Demand: Testing for Separation in Agricultural Household Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 287-322, March.
    5. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-330, June.
    6. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
    7. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-1417, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; income; agricultural production; Mexico.;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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