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Land Certification and International Migration: Evidence from Mexico

  • Valsecchi, Michele


    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

In this paper we ask whether there is a relationship between property rights and international migration. In order to identify the impact of property rights, we consider a country-wide land certification program, which took place in Mexico throughout the 1990s, and complemented the 1992 Agrarian Law. Our identifica- tion strategy exploits the timing of the program and the heterogeneity in farmers’ eligibility into the program. We find that the change in de facto property rights is associated with a 9-16 percent increase in the likelihood of having a member abroad. The program explains a small but relevant share of the increase in migration to the United States which Mexico experienced throughout the 1990s. In this respect, we add to the current debate on the causes of Mexican migration (Hanson 2006, Hanson and McIntosh 2009, Hanson and McIntosh forthcoming).

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 440.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 19 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0440
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Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

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  1. Mullan, Katrina & Grosjean, Pauline & Kontoleon, Andreas, 2011. "Land Tenure Arrangements and Rural-Urban Migration in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 123-133, January.
  2. Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2009. "The Demography of Mexican Migration to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 22-27, May.
  3. Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2001. "Income Strategies Among Rural Households in Mexico: The Role of Off-farm Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 467-480, March.
  4. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  5. Mariapia MENDOLA, 2005. "Migration and technological change in rural households: complements or substitutes?," Departmental Working Papers 2005-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  6. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
  7. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  8. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  9. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  10. Vincenzo Caponi, 2010. "Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the us?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 97-98, pages 207-234.
  11. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith, 1998. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9819, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  12. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2001. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Maëlys De La Rupelle & Deng Quheng & Li Shi & Thomas Vendryes, 2009. "Land rights insecurity and temporary migration in rural China," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575041, HAL.
  14. B. Davis & P. Winters, 2001. "Gender, Networks and Mexico-US Migration," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 1-26.
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  18. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, 04.
  19. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. 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.
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  23. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  24. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  25. Thomas Cornelissen & Katja Sonderhof, 2009. "Partial effects in probit and logit models with a triple dummy-variable interaction term," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(4), pages 571-583, December.
  26. Munoz-Pina, Carlos & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2003. "Re-Crafting Rights over Common Property Resources in Mexico," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt6gc2h1d9, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  27. Gordon H Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "The Great Mexican Emigration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 798-810, November.
  28. Heath, John Richard, 1990. "Enhancing the contribution of land reform to Mexican agricultural development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 285, The World Bank.
  29. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  30. de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie, 2010. "Do Limitations in Land Rights Transferability Influence Low Mobility Rates in Ethiopia?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 60958, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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