Domestic and international migration from rural Mexico: Disaggregrating the effects of network structure and composition
This article explores the role of migrant networks in Mexican rural out-migration focusing on how network composition influences rural-to-rural, rural-to-urban, and rural-to-international migration. Using data from rural Mexico, migration is considered in a multiple-choice context allowing for the possibility that rural Mexicans can migrate within Mexico for agricultural and non-agricultural employment as well as to the United States. Our principle result is that the parts are greater than the whole; using disaggregated measures of migrant networks highlights the complexity of network effects on migration decisions. When modelling the migration choice with aggregate measures, US migrant networks appear more important than Mexico migrant networks. Once networks are disaggregated, however, certain types of Mexico migrant networks become very important in the decision to migrate within Mexico. Further, the impact of migrant networks in the decision to migrate is not homogeneous; the closer the bond, the greater the impact on the migration decision.
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