Migration away from Crime: Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Crime in Mexico was highly concentrated in certain states for many years, but appears to be spreading recently to the traditionally low-crime, relatively poor states in the center of the country. As crime spreads, how will it affect migration propensity in these states where there has been large-scale out-migration for decades? Outside of the literature on political repression and civil war, relatively little is known about the impact of crime on migration. This paper uses nationally representative, longitudinal data from the Mexican Family Life Survey to investigate how victimization within families affects domestic and international migration. The analysis makes use of difference-in-difference and instrumental variables techniques to address the endogeneity of crime in the migration equation. Preliminary results suggest that there is a positive effect of crime on migration propensity, particularly temporary migration lasting less than one year.

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Presented in Poster Session 5