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Return migration and violence

José R. Bucheli, Matías Fontenla () and Benjamin James Waddell

World Development, 2019, vol. 116, issue C, 113-124

Abstract: There is reason to suspect that return migrants can reduce social violence in migrant-prone regions of the world. Taking into account that recent research shows positive effects of return migration, we consider that returners may reduce violence by contributing to social renewal and economic growth in their home communities. We estimate the direct effects of return migration in the context of Mexico, a traditionally migrant country that has suffered record levels of violence in the past decade. Using data on homicide rates from 2456 municipalities for the 2011–2013 period and an instrumental variable bivariate Tobit maximum likelihood approach, we find that higher rates of return migration lead to a decline in local homicide rates. We also show, with a censored quantile instrumental variable (CQIV) model, that municipalities in the bottom quartile of the homicide rate distribution benefit the most from return migration. Our work has important implications for crime reduction policies in developing countries, and specifically in Mexico, where social violence has wreaked havoc on society in recent years.

Keywords: Return migration; Violence; Migration; Homicide rates; Mexico; Latin America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J61 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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