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Drug‐related violence and the decline in the number of Mexican cross‐border workers

Pedro P. Orraca‐Romano and Eunice D. Vargas‐Valle

Review of Development Economics, 2020, vol. 24, issue 2, 485-502

Abstract: This study examines how variations in homicide rates in Mexico are associated with the likelihood of participating in cross‐border work, that is, living in Mexico but working in the U.S. Based on Mexican census data from 2000, 2010, and 2015, and information on homicides, a series of ordinary least squares models are estimated to analyze the relationship between cross‐border commuting and homicide rates at the individual level. Fixed effects models are also estimated to study this relationship at the municipal level. The results show that from 2000 to 2010 the increase in homicide rates in northern border municipalities in Mexico reduced the likelihood of being a cross‐border worker, while from 2010 to 2015 the decrease in the homicide rate increased the probability that workers engage in cross‐border work. The decline in the number of cross‐border workers is likely in part a result of the escalation in drug‐related violence that may have led them to change their country of residence.

Date: 2020
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