Selection and Assimilation of Mexican Migrants to the U.S.

Andrea Velasquez, Duke University
Gabriela Farfan, Duke University
Maria Genoni, Duke University
Luis Rubalcava, Spectron Desarrollo S.C. and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Graciela M. Teruel, Universidad Iberoamericana
Duncan Thomas, Duke University

Uniquely rich longitudinal data from the Mexican Family Life Survey provide new evidence on selectivity and assimilation of recent migrants from Mexico to the U.S. Respondents interviewed at baseline in Mexico in 2002 who subsequently moved to the U.S. and stayed are compared with those who moved to the U.S. during this time and returned to Mexico. Both groups of movers are contrasted with those who did not move to the U.S. Assimilation of movers who stay and returners is measured in terms of success in the labor market in the U.S., use of English and living arrangements in the U.S. The research exploits extremely rich information collected on all respondents at baseline, prior to moving, along with extensive information collected in both follow-up surveys. These indicators include multiple measures of human capital, individual and family income and wealth, networks in the U.S., living arrangements and expectations about the future.

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Presented in Session 25: Immigrant Assimilation