Mexican Migration "Maturity" and Its Effects on Flows Into Local Areas: A Test of the Cumulative Causation Perspective

James D. Bachmeier, University of California, Irvine

This paper examines whether the characteristics and labor market outcomes of recent Mexican immigrants are associated with the “maturity” of the migration flow into local urban and rural areas in the United States. I refine the theory of cumulative causation, which, until now has been used primarily to explain the structural effects of cumulatively caused migration on Mexican sending communities in order to formulate hypotheses relevant to the effects on U.S. migrant communities. Using 2000 census data, I develop a measure of migration maturity, and preliminary findings suggest, consistent with the cumulative causation perspective, that variation in recent migrant characteristics and labor market outcomes are significantly related to migration maturity. The implications of these findings will be discussed in the final paper.

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Presented in Session 164: Immigrants in Old and New Destinations