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Drug-Related Violence and Forced Migration from Mexico to the United States

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  • Arceo-Gómez, Eva Olimpia

Abstract

When President Felipe Calderón took office he declared a war on drug lords, thus initiating a war of attrition which has claimed more than 40,000 lives in the last 5 years. In this chapter I document how this escalation of violence has led Mexicans living close to the northern border to migrate to the United States. Using data from the American Community Survey to estimate migration, and administrative death records to estimate murder rates, I present evidence that the United States southern states have seen the largest increases in Mexican migration from 2005 to 2010. I also show that these new migrants are college educated, which is in high contrast with the archetypal Mexican migrant in the United States. My analysis also shows that there is a correlation between business openings and murder rates in Mexico. I conclude that the war on drugs is making wealthy well-educated Mexicans leave the country, thus diminishing the available skilled labor force and investment needed for future economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Arceo-Gómez, Eva Olimpia, 2012. "Drug-Related Violence and Forced Migration from Mexico to the United States," MPRA Paper 44529, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44529
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ibáñez, Ana Mari­a & Vélez, Carlos Eduardo, 2008. "Civil Conflict and Forced Migration: The Micro Determinants and Welfare Losses of Displacement in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 659-676, April.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    3. Catherine Rodriguez & Edgar Villa, 2012. "Kidnap risks and migration: evidence from Colombia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1139-1164, July.
    4. Nancy Lozano-Gracia & Gianfranco Piras & Ana Maria Ibáñez & Geoffrey J. D. Hewings, 2010. "The Journey to Safety: Conflict-Driven Migration Flows in Colombia," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 33(2), pages 157-180, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Drug trafficking; violence; forced migration; Mexico; war on drugs.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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