This research analyzes the impact of local economic conditions in Mexico on internal and U.S. migration. It uses retrospective life histories and cross-sectional data available from two migration surveys. The Mexican Migration Project, based at the University of Pennsylvania, has been collecting survey data on U.S. migration experience in selected Mexican communities and in U.S. destination areas since 1987. Presently data is available for 7,599 households from 39 communities. The state of Zacatecas Migration Survey was conducted in 1991 by the University of Zacatecas and the Mexican National Statistical Institute to provide state level information on U.S. and internal labor migration. The survey collected information for 6,528 randomly sampled households in 29 of the state's 56 townships. The objective of the proposed research is to assess the influence of local economic conditions on the occurrence of migration and the choice of migration strategy.
The specific aims are: (1) Determine the impact of origin community economic characteristics on the occurrence and timing of migration to the United States; (2) Determine the impact of origin community economic characteristics on the occurrence and timing of return migration to Mexico; (3) Advance our theoretical understanding of how migration behavior is linked across the life course and how origin community economic characteristics influence the choice of migration strategy; (4) Determine the impact of local and regional economic characteristic on the likelihood of U.S. compared to internal migration; and , (5) Forecast migration behavior under alternative scenarios of wage growth and economic development using the state of Zacatecas as an example.