Pains, Guns and Moves: The Effect of the US Opioid Epidemic on Mexican Migration

49 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020

See all articles by Gianmarco Daniele

Gianmarco Daniele

Bocconi University; Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre; Bocconi University

Marco Le Moglie

Bocconi University

Federico Masera

University of New South Wales

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

The opioid epidemic and migration along the US–Mexico border are two of the most-debated policy issues in recent US politics. We show how these two topics are interlinked: the US opioid epidemic generated large Mexican migration flows. We exploit the fact that in 2010, a series of reforms to the US health care system resulted in a shift in demand from legal opiates to heroin. This demand shock had considerable effects on Mexico, the main supplier of heroin consumed in the US. Violence and conflicts increased in Mexican municipalities suitable for opium production, as they became highly valuable to drug cartels. People migrated out of these municipalities to escape this violence, mostly to areas close to the US border and into the US. The rise in US demand for heroin increased internal migration by an estimated 90,000 individuals and migration across the border at least by 12,000.

Keywords: opioid crisis, migration, violence, organized crime, Mexico

Suggested Citation

Daniele, Gianmarco and Le Moglie, Marco and Masera, Federico, Pains, Guns and Moves: The Effect of the US Opioid Epidemic on Mexican Migration (May 2020). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 2020-141. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3607172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3607172

Gianmarco Daniele (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan
Italy

Bocconi University ( email )

Marco Le Moglie

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Federico Masera

University of New South Wales ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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