Migration as Development: Household Survey Evidence on Migrants’ Wage Gains

Migration as Development: Household Survey Evidence on Migrants’ Wage Gains The study of the effects of migration on migrants themselves has not garnered nearly as much attention within the recent international migration literature as other topics, such as motives for migration, the effects of immigration on receiving countries, and the effects of emigration on countries of origin. Focusing instead on these effects on migrants themselves, an issue of primary importance to the discussion of international migration, I present novel data collected through household interviews in communities both in Mexico and the United States. Data gathered using an ethnosurvey approach, combining the techniques of ethnographic fieldwork with representative survey sampling in order to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, permit a careful comparison of absolute and relative wage gains for interviewees with data from existing Mexican surveys. Key findings include: (1) upon crossing the border, even given the cost of migration, migrants indeed stand to collect large net absolute gains, average incomes increasing more than fivefold immediately; (2) relative gains are large, many migrants moving from the lower deciles of origin wage distributions to the top deciles; and (3) average gains accruing to migrants surpass those of even the most successful current programs of economic development. In turn, these findings verify the importance of including consideration for the migrants themselves in any ongoing discussions of how to construct effective migration policy around the world. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Indicators Research Springer Journals

Migration as Development: Household Survey Evidence on Migrants’ Wage Gains

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences; Sociology, general; Quality of Life Research; Microeconomics; Public Health; Human Geography; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0303-8300
eISSN
1573-0921
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11205-017-1630-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The study of the effects of migration on migrants themselves has not garnered nearly as much attention within the recent international migration literature as other topics, such as motives for migration, the effects of immigration on receiving countries, and the effects of emigration on countries of origin. Focusing instead on these effects on migrants themselves, an issue of primary importance to the discussion of international migration, I present novel data collected through household interviews in communities both in Mexico and the United States. Data gathered using an ethnosurvey approach, combining the techniques of ethnographic fieldwork with representative survey sampling in order to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, permit a careful comparison of absolute and relative wage gains for interviewees with data from existing Mexican surveys. Key findings include: (1) upon crossing the border, even given the cost of migration, migrants indeed stand to collect large net absolute gains, average incomes increasing more than fivefold immediately; (2) relative gains are large, many migrants moving from the lower deciles of origin wage distributions to the top deciles; and (3) average gains accruing to migrants surpass those of even the most successful current programs of economic development. In turn, these findings verify the importance of including consideration for the migrants themselves in any ongoing discussions of how to construct effective migration policy around the world.

Journal

Social Indicators ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 18, 2017

References

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