Ir al menú de navegación principal Ir al contenido principal Ir al pie de página del sitio

Artículos

Vol. 12 (2021): enero-diciembre, 2021

Do minimum wages help explain declining Mexico-U.S. migration?

DOI
https://doi.org/10.33679/rmi.v1i1.2326
Publicado
2021-12-15

Resumen

This paper finds that minimum wages of the United States and Mexico measured carefully in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) help explain the well-documented post-2010 fall in Mexico-U.S. migration. Declining inequality also plays a role since the purchasing power of the minimum wage increased relative to the average wage in Mexico. Using time-series data, we find two positive partial correlations between minimum wages and net migration: one driven by wage differentials between the two countries and the other by wage inequality in Mexico. However, these results are found to be mediated through migrant social networks. Though relative wages are a classic migration driver, this paper is the first to explore the full minimum-average wage nexus. One clear policy implication of these results is that maintaining the real purchasing power of minimum wages helps reduce migration. An in-depth analysis is needed to demonstrate the causality of these correlations.

Palabras clave

  • net migration
  • minimum wage
  • inequality
  • Mexico
  • United States

Cómo citar

Cuecuecha Mendoza, A., Fuentes-Mayorga, N., & McLeod, D. (2021). Do minimum wages help explain declining Mexico-U.S. migration?. Migraciones Internacionales, 12. https://doi.org/10.33679/rmi.v1i1.2326

Citas

  1. Aspe, P. (1993). Economic transformation the Mexican way. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  2. Banco de México (BANXICO). (2020). Tasa interbancaria a 28 días. Sistema de Información Económica [Data set]. Retrieved from https://www.banxico.org.mx/SieInternet/consultarDirectorioInternetAction.do?sector=18&accion=consultarCuadroAnalitico&idCuadro=CA51&locale=es
  3. Basu, B. (1996). Minimum wage, international migration and their effects on welfare. International Economic Journal, 9 (2), 101-120.
  4. Borjas, G. (1987). Self-selection and the earnings of immigrants. American Economic Review, 77 (4), 531-553.
  5. Borjas, G., & Bratsberg, B. (1996). Who leaves? The outmigration of the foreign born. Review of Economics and Statistics, 78 (1), 165-176.
  6. Bosch, M., & Manacorda, M. (2010). Minimum wages and earnings inequality in urban Mexico. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2(4), 128-149.
  7. Bouchot, J.A. (2017, June). The unintended distributional consequences of the 2012 rise in the Mexican minimum wage (Working Paper). Birmingham, ENG: University of Birmingham.
  8. Cantor, D. J. (2014). The new wave: Forced displacement caused by organized crime in Central America and Mexico. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 33 (3), 34-68.
  9. Campos-Vazquez, R.M., & Lara, J. (2012). Self-selection patterns among return migrants: Mexico 1990-2010. IZA Journal of Development and Migration, 1 (1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-9039-1-8
  10. Chiswick, B. R. (1978). The effect of Americanization on the earnings of foreign-born men. Journal of Political Economy, 86, 897-921.
  11. Coale, A. J. (1989). Demographic transition. In J. Eatwell, M. Milgate, & P. Newman (Eds.), Social Economics (pp. 16-32). London, ENG: The New Palgrave. Palgrave McMillan, London.
  12. Cohen, R., Lai, A., & Steindel, C. (2014). State income taxes and interstate migration. Business Economics, 49 (3), 176-190.
  13. Comisión Nacional de Salarios Mínimos (CONASAMI). (2017). Salarios Mínimos. Serie Histórica. Retrieved from http://www.conasami.gob.mx/trans_focalizada_series.html
  14. Cuecuecha, A. (2018). ¿Es la migración de retorno la causa de la reducción de mexicanos viviendo en Estados Unidos? In V. Cruz & A. Cuecuecha (Eds.), Emprendimiento y Migración de Retorno: raíces y horizontes (pp. 35-49). Mexico City, Mexico: Miguel Ángel Porrúa.
  15. Delechat, C. (2003). International migration dynamics: The role of experience and social networks. Labour, 15 (3), 457-486.
  16. Donato, K. M., & Massey, D. S. (2016). Twenty-First-Century Globalization and Illegal Migration. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 666 (1), 7–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716216653563
  17. Durand, J. (2016). Historia mínima de la migración México-Estados Unidos. Ciudad de México: El Colegio de México.
  18. Durbin, J. (1970). An alternative to the bounds test for testing for serial correlation in Least-Squares Regression. Econometrica, 38 (3), 422-429.
  19. Fairris, D., Popli, G., & Zepeda, E. (2008). Minimum wages and the wage structure in Mexico. Review of Social Economy, 66 (2), 181-208.
  20. Fuentes-Mayorga, N. (2022, in press) From Homemakers to Breadwinners to Community Leaders: Migrating Women, Class and Color. New Jersey, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  21. Fussel, E., & Massey, D. (2004). The limits to cumulative causation: International emigration from Mexican urban areas. Demography, 41 (1), 151-171.
  22. Gerhard, R.F., Guizar, J.A., Jiménez, R., Arana, R., & Gutiérrez, A. (2018). Estudio sobre el incremento al salario mínimo en la frontera norte de México. Documento de Investigación.
  23. Dirección General de Investigación y Estadísticas del Trabajo. Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social. Retrieved from https://www.gob.mx/stps/documentos/estudio-sobre-el-incremento-al-salario-minimo-en-la-frontera-norte?idiom=es
  24. Graves, R. (2012). Linking Regional Science and Urban Economics: Long-run interactions among preferences for amenities and public goods. Modern Economy, 3 (3), 253-262.
  25. Hanson, G., & McIntosh, C. (2010). The great Mexican emigration. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 92 (4), 798-810.
  26. Harris, J. R., & Todaro, M. P. (1970). Migration, unemployment and development: A two sector analysis. The American Economic Review, 60 (1), 126-142.
  27. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1993). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  28. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1994). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  29. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1995). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  30. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1996). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  31. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1997). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  32. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1998). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  33. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (1999). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  34. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (2000). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo Urbano. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/eneu/2004/#Microdatos
  35. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (2012). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/enoe/15ymas/#Microdatos
  36. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (2013). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/enoe/15ymas/#Microdatos
  37. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (2014). Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo. Retrieved from https://www.inegi.org.mx/programas/enoe/15ymas/#Microdatos
  38. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (2017). Banco de Información Económica. Series consultadas: Asegurados, Trabajadores Permanentes y Eventuales en el IMSS; Salarios Diarios Asociados a Asegurados Trabajadores en el IMSS; Indice Nacional de Precios al Consumidor; Tipo de Cambio del Peso Respecto al Dólar. Retrieved from http://www.inegi.org.mx/sistemas/bie/
  39. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). (2019). Series consulted: INEGI. Mexican Census 1960, 1970, 1990, 2000, 2010. Conteo 1995, Conteo 2005. Encuesta Intercensal 2015.
  40. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International: Version 7.2 [Data set]. Minneapolis, MN. https://doi.org/10.18128/D020.V7.2
  41. Katz, E., & Stark, O. (1986). Labor migration and risk aversion in Less Developed Countries. Journal of Labor Economics, 4 (1), 134-149.
  42. Lewis, W.A. (1954). Economic development with unlimited supplies of labor. The Manchester School, 22 (2), 139-191.
  43. Light, I., & von Scheven, E. (2008). Mexican migration networks in the United States, 1980-2000. International Migration Review, 42 (3), 704-728.
  44. Macrotrends. (2019). Federal Funds Rate [Historical Data Set]. Retrieved from https://www.macrotrends.net/2015/fed-funds-rate-historical-chart
  45. Maloney, W. F., & Nuñez, J. (2004). Measuring the impact of minimum wages: Evidence from Latin America (NBER Working Paper No. 10129). In J.J Heckman & C. Pagés (Eds.), Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean (pp. 109-130). University of Chicago Press.
  46. Martinez, J. N. (2014). Beyond networks: Health, crime, and migration in Mexico. International Journal of Population Research, 1-12.
  47. Massey, D. (2015). A missing element in migration theories. Migration Letters, 12 (3), 279-299.
  48. Massey, D. (2016). The Mexico-US border in the American imagination. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 160 (2), 160-177.
  49. Massey, D, Alarcón, R., Durand, J., & González, H. (1987). Return to Aztlan: The social process of international migration from western Mexico. Berkeley, CA: UC Press.
  50. Massey, D., Arango, J., Gonzalez, H., Kouaouci, A., Pellegino, A., & Taylor, J.E. (1993). Theories of international migration: A review and appraisal. Population and Development Review, 19 (3), 431-466.
  51. Massey, D., Durand, J., & Pren, K. (2018). Explaining undocumented migration to the US. International Migration Review, 48 (4), 1028-1061.
  52. Massey, D., & Zenteno, R. (1999). The dynamics of mass migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 96 (9), 5328-5335.
  53. Mirrof, N. (2020, August 9). As U.S. expels migrants, they come back, again and again, across Mexico. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/migrants-border-repeat-crossings/2020/08/08/2fdbd97c-d9bf-11ea-b9b2-1ea733b97910_story.html
  54. Munshi, K. (2003). Networks in the modern economy: Mexican migrants in the US labor market. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118 (2), 549-599.
  55. Neumark, D., Schweitzer, M., & Wascher, W. (2004). Minimum wage effects throughout the wage distribution. The Journal of Human Resources, 39 (2), 425-450.
  56. Orrenious, P., & Zavodny, M. (2015). The impact of E-Verify mandates on labor market outcomes. Southern Economic Journal, 81 (4), 947-959.
  57. Orrenious, P., & Zavodny, M. (2016). Do state work eligibility verification laws reduce unauthorized immigration? IZA Journal of Migration, 5 (5), 1-17.
  58. Partridge, M.D., Rickman, D.S., Olfert, M.R., & Ali, K. (2012). Dwindling US internal migration: Evidence of spatial equilibrium or structural shifts in local labor markets? Regional Science and Urban Economics, 42 (1-2), 375-388.
  59. Passel, J., & Cohn, D. (2009). Mexican Immigrants: How Many come? How Many leave? (Pew Hispanic Center Report). Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2009/07/22/mexican-immigrants-how-many-come-how-many-leave/
  60. Passel, J., Cohn, D., & Gonzalez-Barrera, A. (2012). Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less (Pew Hispanic Center Report). Retrieved form https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2012/04/23/net-migration-from-mexico-falls-to-zero-and-perhaps-less/
  61. Quinn, M.A. (2006). Relative deprivation, wage differentials and Mexican migration. Review of Development Economics, 10 (1), 135-153.
  62. Reyes, B. (1997). Dynamics of Immigration: Return Migration to Western Mexico, San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.
  63. Ruggles, S., Flood, S., Goeken, R., Grover, J., Meyer, E., Pacas, J., & Sobek, M. (2019). Current Population Survey Data Files for 1993 to 2016. IPUMS USA: Version 9.0 [Data set]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS.
  64. Secretaría de Gobernación (SEGOB). (2000). Anexo Gráfico y Estadístico. 6to. Informe de Gobierno. Ernesto Zedillo. México: Gobierno de México.
  65. Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS). (2019). Jóvenes construyendo el futuro. Retrieved from https://jovenesconstruyendoelfuturo.stps.gob.mx
  66. Sjaastad, L.A. (1962). The costs and returns of human migration. Journal of Political Economy, 70 (5), 80-93.
  67. Songman, K. (2016). Inequality and crime revisited: effects of local inequality and economic segregation on crime. Journal of Population Economics, 29 (2), 593-626.
  68. Sovilla, B. (2019). Increasing the minimum wage with the State as employer of last resort: A “predistribution” proposal for Mexico. International Journal of Political Economy, 47 (3-4), 330-351.
  69. Stark, O., Helmenstein, C., & Yegorov, Y. (1997). Migrant’s savings, purchasing power parity, and the optimal duration of migration. International Tax and Public Finance, 4 (3), 307-324.
  70. Stark, O., Taylor, J.E., & Yitzhaki, S. (1988). Migration, remittances and inequality: A sensitivity analysis using the extended Gini index. Journal of Development Economics, 28 (3), 309-322.
  71. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS). (2017). Series consulted: Employment Level. Hispanic or Latino; All employees, total non-farm, seasonally adjusted; Median Usual Weakly Earnings, Employed Full Time, Wage and Salary Workers, Hispanic or Latino; Median Usual Weakly Earnings. Employed Full Time, Wage and Salary Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/wkyeng.t03.htm
  72. U.S. Census Bureau (USCB). (1990). Series consulted: Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts. Table 2. Population, Housing Units, Area Measurements and Density: 1790 to 1990. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2002/dec/pol_02-ma.html
  73. U.S. Census Bureau (USCB). (2011). Series consulted: National Intercensal Tables 2000-2010 [Data set]. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/intercensal-2000-2010-national.html
  74. U.S. Census Bureau (USCB). (2016). Series consulted: National Population Total Tables 2010-2016. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-national-total.html
  75. U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC). (1996). Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050 (Current Population Reports, P25-1130). Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/prod/1/pop/p25-1130/p251130.pdf
  76. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS). (2015). Series consulted: Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Table 39. Aliens Removed or Returned: Fiscal Years 1892-2015. Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2018/table39
  77. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS). (2016). Series consulted: Fiscal Year 2016 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report. Retrieved from https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Report/2016/removal-stats-2016.pdf
  78. U.S. Department of Labor (USDL). (2017). Wage and Hour Division [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm
  79. U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis. Economic Research (FRED). (2017). Personal Consumption Expenditures. Chain Type Price Index. Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PCEPI
  80. Velázquez Leyer, R. (2018). Aiming to keep poor Mexican families at the breadline (but no higher): The effects of minimum wage, tax, and social policy changes between 1994 and 2012. Social Policy and Administration, 53 (5), 743-760.
  81. Warren, R. (2017). Zero Undocumented Growth is Here to Stay and Immigration Reform Would Preserve and Extend These Gains. Journal of Migration and Human Security, 5 (2), 491-508.
  82. World Bank. (2016). World Development Indicators. Retrieved from https://databank.worldbank.org/source/world-development-indicators
  83. Yang, D. (2006). Why do migrants return to poor countries? Evidence from Philippine migrants’ responses to exchange rate shocks. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 88 (4), 715-735.