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What makes you go back home? Determinants of the duration of migration of Mexican immigrants in the United States

Carmen E. Carrión-Flores ()
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Carmen E. Carrión-Flores: Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

IZA Journal of Migration and Development, 2018, vol. 8, issue 1, 1-24

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the optimal migration duration of Mexican immigrants in the USA using individual-level data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP). A simple theoretical model rationalizes the decision of the migrant to return to Mexico, despite higher wages in the USA. I use the Cox proportional hazard model to empirically examine the determinants of return migration of Mexican immigrants. This paper contributes to the literature by introducing distances from origin states in Mexico to destination states in the USA as a proxy for costs of migration and uses a US expected wage measure instead of the average US real wages. The empirical analysis shows that the optimal migration duration increases as the US expected wage increases. Importantly, tighter US migration policies have an ambiguous effect on the optimal migration duration while longer distances decrease the hazard of return to their state of origin.

JEL-codes: F22 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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