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Labor Market and Immigration Behavior of Middle-Aged and Elderly Mexicans

Author

Listed:
  • Emma Aguila

    (RAND)

  • Julie Zissimopoulos

    (RAND)

Abstract

In this study we analyzed the retirement behavior of Mexicans with migration spells to the United States that returned to Mexico and non-migrants. Our analysis is based on rich panel data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Approximately 9 percent of MHAS respondents aged 50 and older reported having lived or worked in the United States. These return migrants were more likely to be working at older ages than non-migrants. Consistent with much of the prior research on retirement in the United States and other developed countries, Mexican non-migrants and return migrants were responsive to institutional incentives. Both groups were more likely to retire if they had publicly provided health insurance and pensions. In addition, receipt of U.S. Social Security benefits increased retirement rates among return migrants. Return migrants were more likely to report being in poor health and this also increased the likelihood of retiring. The 2004 draft of an Agreement on Social Security would coordinate benefits across United States and Mexico boundaries to protect the benefits of persons who have worked in foreign countries. The agreement would likely increase the number of authorized and unauthorized Mexican workers and family member eligible for Social Security benefits. The responsiveness of current, older Mexican return migrants to pension benefits, suggests that an Agreement would affect the retirement behavior of Mexican migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Emma Aguila & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2008. "Labor Market and Immigration Behavior of Middle-Aged and Elderly Mexicans," Working Papers wp192, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp192
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp192.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
    2. Emma Aguila, 2011. "Personal Retirement Accounts and Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 1-24.
    3. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    4. Jennifer Van Hook, 2003. "Welfare Reform's Chilling Effects on Noncitizens: Changes in Noncitizen Welfare Recipiency or Shifts in Citizenship Status?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(3), pages 613-631.
    5. Alberto Palloni & Elizabeth Arias, 2004. "Paradox lost: Explaining the hispanic adult mortality advantage," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 385-415, August.
    6. Pia M. Orrenius, 1999. "The role of family networks, coyote prices and the rural economy in migration from Western Mexico: 1965-1994," Working Papers 9910, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Holzmann & Johannes Koettl, 2015. "Portability of Pension, Health, and Other Social Benefits: Facts, Concepts, and Issues," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(2), pages 377-415.
    2. Emma Aguila & Alma Vega, 2015. "Social Security Contributions and Return Migration among Older Male Mexican Immigrants," Working Papers wp324, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Holzmann, Robert & Koettl, Johannes, 2011. "Portability of pension, health, and other social benefits : facts, concepts, issues," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 62725, The World Bank.
    4. Alma Vega & Noli Brazil, 2015. "A multistate life table approach to understanding return and reentry migration between Mexico and the United States during later life," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(43), pages 1211-1240, December.

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