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Regional Economic Development and Mexican Out-Migration


  • Kurt Unger


This paper shows evidence of positive effects in the economic development of sending communities in Mexico due to migration. The principal hypothesis of this study is that remittances, knowledge and experience acquired by migrants during their migratory cycle, can be translated into larger economic growth in the out migration municipalities. This result presupposes that Government could create complementary incentives to take advantage of profitable activities. Economic and migration data for each municipality is used which allows to associate characteristics of communities, migratory flows and the effects in profitable activities. There are three sections. A first section describes the sending municipalities according to migratory intensity and their urban /rural nature. The second section analyzes the relation between remittances and socioeconomic conditions of the communities. In a third section the effect over time is estimated, relating per capita income growth and migratory flows intensity. The most relevant results are the existence of income convergence over time between high and low migration municipalities in the North and South of Mexico. As well, we find a positive and significant relation between per capita income growth and the percentage of households that receive remittances across communities, both at the country level and for the northern and southern regions separately.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt Unger, 2005. "Regional Economic Development and Mexican Out-Migration," NBER Working Papers 11432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11432
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rodolfo Cermeño & David Mayer-Foulkes & Ariadna Martínez, 2006. "Convergencia, divergencia y estratificación: Estudio comparativo de la dinámica de crecimiento de la manufactura en los municipios mexicanos y los condados norteamericanos," Working papers DTE 378, CIDE, División de Economía.
    2. Javier Sánchez-Reaza, 2002. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Regional Disparities in Mexico," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 72-90.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mora Rivera, José Jorge. & Arellano-González, Jesús., 2012. "Migration and Remittances Effects on Consumption of the Poorest : the Mexican Case," Panorama Económico, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, vol. 0(14), pages 121-163, primer se.
    2. Garduno-Rivera, Rafael, 2010. "Effect of NAFTA on Mexico's Income Distribution in the Presence of Migration," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61895, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "People Flows in Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-170, Spring.
    4. Hernandez-Trillo, Fausto, 2016. "Poverty Alleviation in Federal Systems: The Case of México," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 204-214.
    5. Adenutsi, Deodat E., 2011. "Do remittances alleviate poverty and income inequality in poor countries? Empirical evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 37130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Garduno-Rivera, Rafael & Baylis, Katherine R., 2012. "Effect of Tariff Liberalization on Mexico’s Income Distribution in the presence of Migration," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124740, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Alejandro Nadal, 2006. "Mexico’s Corn-Producing Sector: A Commentary," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(1), pages 33-36, March.

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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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