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Violence, development, and migration waves: Evidence from Central American child migrant apprehensions

Michael Clemens

Journal of Urban Economics, 2021, vol. 124, issue C

Abstract: Does violence lead to flight from cities in the developing world? This paper estimates the effect of violent crime in municipalities of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala on the irregular emigration of children to the United States. It studies the full universe of 178,825 unaccompanied child migrants from those countries apprehended in the U.S. from 2011 to 2016. In the average municipality, generalized insecurity that produces 10 additional homicides in the origin city caused between three and six cumulative additional child-migrant apprehensions in the U.S.—a measure of irregular migration. Diffusion of migration experience through peer and family networks produces self-reinforcing, city-specific waves of migration that can rise even after violence subsides.

Keywords: Crime; Emigration; Poverty; Aid; Migration hump; Gangs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J61 N96 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Violence, Development and Migration Waves: Evidence from Central American Child Migrant Apprehensions (2017) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2021.103355

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