Liberalization and Incentives for Labor Migration: Theory with Applications to NAFTA

48 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2000 Last revised: 7 Oct 2010

See all articles by James R. Markusen

James R. Markusen

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephen Zahniser

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 1997

Abstract

One of the motivations for NAFTA from the US point of view was to reduce the" incentives for Mexican migration into the US. Unskilled rural males are a primary source of" illegal immigration and also Mexico's relatively abundant factor. This group should therefore" be made better off by trade and investment liberalization according to the traditional" Heckscher-Ohlin model. Existing evidence, along with best guesses of many experts in the" area, suggest that NAFTA is unlikely to have a significant positive impact on this group least not within the time frame of several decades. We draw on a number of recent theoretical" contributions in order to offer reasons why NAFTA may not raise the wages of unskilled" Mexican workers.

Suggested Citation

Markusen, James R. and Zahniser, Stephen, Liberalization and Incentives for Labor Migration: Theory with Applications to NAFTA (October 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6232. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225990

James R. Markusen (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-0748 (Phone)
303-492-8960 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stephen Zahniser

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

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