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Migration networks and Mexican migrants' spatial mobility in the US

Author

Listed:
  • Rebecca Lessem

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Brian Cadena

    (University of Colorado at Boulder)

  • Brian Kovak

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Shan Li

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

Abstract

Mexican low-skilled migrants are found to be highly mobile when they face labor demand shocks. This paper examines the role of migration networks in Mexican-born immigrants’ location choices. We rely on the sizable variation in labor demand declines across states during the Great Recession to identify migration responses to demand shocks and use a novel set of data, the Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS) data, to construct migration network measures. We find that migration networks indeed play an important part in Mexican migrants’ responsiveness to local demand shocks.In particular, migrants respond to local economic conditions and conditions in network-connected locations when making location decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Lessem & Brian Cadena & Brian Kovak & Shan Li, 2018. "Migration networks and Mexican migrants' spatial mobility in the US," 2018 Meeting Papers 196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:196
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    2. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2002. "Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 551, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Krishna Patel & Francis Vella, 2013. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Jesse Rothstein, 2012. "The Labor Market Four Years into the Crisis: Assessing Structural Explanations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(3), pages 467-500, July.
    6. Brian C. Cadena & Brian K. Kovak, 2016. "Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 257-290, January.
    7. Mundra, Kusum & Rios-Avila, Fernando, 2016. "Immigrant Birthcountry Networks and Unemployment Duration: Evidence around the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 10233, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-391, October.
    9. Elizabeth Fussell & Douglas Massey, 2004. "The limits to cumulative causation: International migration from Mexican Urban Areas," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(1), pages 151-171, February.
    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    11. Sara Curran & Estela Rivero-Fuentes, 2003. "Engendering migrant networks: The case of Mexican migration," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 289-307, May.
    12. Mao-Mei Liu, 2013. "Migrant Networks and International Migration: Testing Weak Ties," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1243-1277, August.
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