Martin.doc - 2.3 MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT THE MEXICAN-US...

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2.3. MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT: THE MEXICAN-US CASE 1 Philip Martin 2 Abstract This paper explores economic and technological changes and the evolution of labor markets in sending and receiving countries, with an emphasis on developments in the major emigration country, Mexico, and the impacts of migrants from Mexico and Latin America on the economies of Canada and the US. There are three major conclusions: The US has 10 percent foreign residents (26 million in 1997) and 12 percent foreign- born workers (16 million in 1997), including million Mexican-born workers, but no major US industry or occupation is dependent on foreign-born or Mexican-born workers. Foreign-born workers are at the high and low ends of the education and income distributions. Mexican-born workers tend to be near the low end, often filling jobs that would be eliminated or modified by technology at higher wages—in labor markets such as agriculture and textiles, the flexibility is on the demand side of the labor market. Trade and investment are the fastest and surest proven paths to reduce economically motivated migration. However, their short- and long-run effects on migration may be very different, producing a migration hump in the short-term that should be dealt with in a manner that does not permit migration disputes to interfere with economic integration. Mexico, the US, and Canada are on the path toward closer economic integration that should reduce permanent or settler migration and increase temporary or sojourner migration for business and other purposes. This reduction in emigration pressure in Mexico may be noticeable sooner than is commonly realized. The policy challenge is to do no harm, to avoid policies that prolongs Mexican-US migration. Introduction The world's population, six billion in 2000, and the world economy, $30 trillion in 2000, are growing, and the world’s 200 nation states are becoming more interdependent, meaning that a rising volume of people, goods, and capital are crossing national borders. There is a growing consensus that migration can no longer be managed unilaterally, and that successful bilateral migration management tools can be incorporated into regional and eventually global migration regimes. Most regional and international regimes—systems in which national governments yield at least some power to a supranational authority that grants member nations rights and 1 Paper prepared for the Symposium on International Migration in the Americas, Costa Rica, September 4-6, 2000. The Symposium’s purpose is to explore the relationship between migration and development in the region, including the impacts of migrants on sending and receiving societies. 2 [email protected] 2.3.1
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imposes obligations on them—emerge from crisis (Massey, et. al, 1998). For example, after wars end, security regimes are often created to which member nations pledge mutual support to head off future armed conflicts. Similarly, after economic crises trade and
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