The Globalization of Economic Production and International Migration: An Empirical Analysis of Undocumented Mexican Migration to the United States

Matthew R Sanderson, University of Utah
Rebecca Utz, University of Utah

This paper investigates the relationship between the globalization of economic production and international migration by focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border region. We use retrospective data gathered from the Mexican Migration Project and two quantitative modeling techniques to test for whether foreign direct investment in the Mexican manufacturing sector predicts the probability of having migrated to the U.S. without documents in the previous five years. We disaggregate the analyses by gender in order to examine how the estimates vary for males and females. The analyses reveal that higher levels of manufacturing sector FDI in communities in the border region are associated with lower probabilities of undocumented migration. However, this effect better predicts the probability of undocumented migration for males. The findings are discussed in the context of previous research and directions for future research are elaborated.

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Presented in Poster Session 6