Out-Migration and Transitions in Labor Allocation and Labor Regimes in Rural Mexico

Ismael R. Ortega-Sanchez, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Jill L. Findeis, Pennsylvania State University

Changes in the allocation of labor and labor regimes in households of agrarian societies are critically influenced by local labor out-migration. The understanding of the specific changes experienced by rural Mexican households is the objective of this paper. Using data from 522 rural households in 18 communities of central-south Mexico we analyze the impact of labor out-migration on labor allocation and regime membership. A discriminating analysis of families with migrants and/or migration experience is followed by two econometric analyses of changes in labor participation, job-holding and labor regimen membership: First, semi-parametric logit models estimate changes in on-farm and off-farm labor allocation for males and females; and second, an asset-endowment-sensitive ordered probit model with variable thresholds estimates transitions in labor regimes. Results suggest that increases in off-farm and single job-holding are, in part, due to out-migration. They also imply that labor regime transitions--from net-demander to self-sufficient and from there to net-sellers--are likely caused by out-migration.

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Presented in Session 76: Economic Consequences of Migration for Origin Communities