Unexpected consequences of migration to the United States on school enrolment among Mexican adolescents

Silvia Elena Giorguli Saucedo, El Colegio de México

The discussion of the effects of international migration in the communities of origin has stressed the potential positive effects of remittances on the well-being of the families and on the development of communities with high prevalence of international migration. For example, prior studies suggest remittances are invested in the improvement of educational and health conditions of children. Using nationwide data for Mexican adolescents between 12 and 16 years of age, this paper explores whether the exposure to international migration—at the community and household level—decreases the probabilities of leaving school. Contrary to what we could have expected, adolescents living in households with migration experience to the U.S. and in communities with high prevalence of migration leave school more often before finishing middle school. Possible explanations to this unexpected effect are the low returns to education in developing countries in combination with high expectations of migrating in the future.

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Presented in Poster Session 5