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Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census

  • Pablo Ibarraran
  • Darren Lubotsky

We use data from the 2000 Mexican Census to examine how the education and socioeconomic status of Mexican immigrants to the United States compares to that of non-migrants in Mexico. Our primary conclusion is that migrants tend to be less educated than non-migrants. This finding is consistent with the idea that the return to education is higher in Mexico than in the United States, and thus the wage gain to migrating is proportionately smaller for high-educated Mexicans than it is for lower-educated Mexicans. We also find that the degree of negative selection of migrants is stronger in Mexican counties that have a higher return to education.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11456.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census , Pablo Ibarraran, Darren Lubotsky. in Mexican Immigration to the United States , Borjas. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11456
Note: LS
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  1. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  3. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2000. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Working Papers 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  5. Frank Bean & Rodolfo Corona & Rodolfo Tuiran & Karen Woodrow-Lafield & Jennifer Hook, 2001. "Circular, invisible, and ambiguous migrants: Components of difference in estimates of the number of unauthorized Mexican migrants in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 411-422, August.
  6. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  8. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  9. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
  10. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
  11. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
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