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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
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  1. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: The role of migration networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. 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.
  3. Caponi, Vincenzo, 2006. "Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the US?," IZA Discussion Papers 2446, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  5. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1561-1602 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. de la Rupelle, Maëlys & Quheng, Deng & Li, Shi & Vendryes, Thomas, 2009. "Land Rights Insecurity and Temporary Migration in Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 4668, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:2:p:549-599 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  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. Munoz-Pina, Carlos & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2003. "Recrafting Rights over Common Property Resources in Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 129-58, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  13. Heath, John Richard, 1990. "Enhancing the contribution of land reform to Mexican agricultural development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 285, The World Bank.
  14. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  15. 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.
  16. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00575041 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters, 2002. "Gender, Networks and Mexico-US Migration," Working Papers 02-03, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  18. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1996. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6798, Inter-American Development Bank.
  19. Mendola, Mariapia, 2008. "Migration and technological change in rural households: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 150-175, February.
  20. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2005. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Working Papers 11456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2008. "Land Titling and Rural Transition in Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 531-579.
  24. Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2007. "The Great Mexican Emigration," NBER Working Papers 13675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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