Working Paper

Why stop there? Mexican migration to the U.S. border region

Abstract: The transformation of the U.S. border economy since the 1980s provides a fascinating backdrop to explore how migration to the U.S-side of the Mexican border has changed vis-a-vis migration to the U.S. interior. Some long-standing patterns of border migrants remained unchanged during this period while others underwent drastic changes. For example, border migrants are consistently more likely to be female, to have migrated within Mexico, and to lack migrant networks as compared with migrants to the U.S. interior. Meanwhile, the occupational profile of border migrants has changed drastically from being predominately agricultural work to being largely made up of service-sector and sales-related work. Border migration is more sensitive to Mexican and U.S. business cycles than migration to the U.S. interior throughout the period and, while the data suggest border migrant wages may have caught up to other migrants' wages by the early 2000s, multivariate analysis indicates that border migrants who are female and/or undocumented continue to earn far less than such migrants who work in the U.S. interior.

Keywords: Emigration; immigration;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2008

Number: 0803

Pages: 33 pages

Note: Published as: Orrenius, Pia M., Madeline Zavodny and Leslie Lukens (2009), "Differences between Mexican Migration to the U.S. Border and Interior: Evidence from Mexican Survey Data," in Labor Market Issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border, ed. Marie T. Mora and Alberto Dávila (Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona Press), 139-159.