Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks

28 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by David J. McKenzie

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hillel Rapoport

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Stanford University

Date Written: February 1, 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Population Policies, Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement, Human Migrations & Resettlements, Anthropology, Technology Industry

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, David John and Rapoport, Hillel, Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks (February 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4118, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=959764

David John McKenzie (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

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Washington, DC 20433
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Hillel Rapoport

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+972 3 535 3180 (Fax)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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