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Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks

  • McKenzie, David
  • Rapoport, Hillel

The authors examine the role of migration networks in determining self-selection patterns of Mexico-U.S. migration. They first present a simple theoretical framework showing how such networks impact on migration incentives at different education levels and, consequently, how they are likely to affect the expected skill composition of migration. Using survey data from Mexico, the authors then show that the probability of migration is increasing with education in communities with low migrant networks, but decreasing with education in communities with high migrant networks. This is consistent with positive self-selection of migrants being driven by high migration costs, and with negative self-selection of migrants being driven by lower returns to education in the U.S. than in Mexico.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4118.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4118
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  1. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  2. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  3. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
  4. Schultz, Theodore W, 1980. "Nobel Lecture: The Economics of Being Poor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 639-51, August.
  5. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  6. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," Departmental Working Papers 200216, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  7. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  9. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Ernesto López Córdova, 2004. "Globalization, Migration and Development: The Role of Mexican Migrant Remittances," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 82, Econometric Society.
  11. Hildebrandt, Nicole & McKenzie, David, 2005. "The effects of migration on child health in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3573, The World Bank.
  12. B.R. Chiswick & P.W. Miller, 2000. "Do Enclaves Matter in Immigrant Adjustment?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 00-19, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  13. Sarah Dolfin & Garance Genicot, 2010. "What Do Networks Do? The Role of Networks on Migration and "Coyote" Use," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 343-359, 05.
  14. Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters, 2002. "Gender, Networks and Mexico-US Migration," Working Papers 02-03, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  15. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  16. 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.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist, 1991. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Average Treatment Effects in Econometrics and Epidemiology," NBER Technical Working Papers 0115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:2:p:549-599 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  21. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2000. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Working Papers 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  22. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  23. Caponi, Vincenzo, 2006. "Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the US?," IZA Discussion Papers 2446, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
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