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Economic Sector Choices of Mexican Migrants to the USA: Evidence from the 2011 EMIF Border Survey

Andre Oliveira and Rossitza Wooster ()

Global Economy Journal (GEJ), 2015, vol. 15, issue 1, 25-50

Abstract: This paper investigates the economic sector choices of Mexican labor migrants who intended to cross the US border in 2011 using data from the EMIF Norte Border Survey. We identify migrants according to prior work experience and intended sector of work in an effort to determine what demographic and socioeconomic characteristics explain economic sector mobility. We begin by estimating a probit model with sample selection to identify migrant characteristics that explain differences between industry of employment at place of origin and the intended sector of work at their destination. We find that sector mobility is significantly more likely for migrants who are documented and those with higher educational attainment, specifically, spoken English skills. The probability that prior and intended sectors of work coincide is significantly higher for migrants who are male, married, from large households, have family in the USA and earned a higher wage prior to migration. We also estimate a multinomial probit of the choice of sector and find that work sector prior to migration is more likely to match intended sector in the agriculture, construction, transportation and trade industries and significantly less likely to match in the services sector relative to other occupational categories.

Keywords: international migration; self-selection; individual-level data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1515/GEJ-2014-0048

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