, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 73–99 | Cite as

The Effect of Family Member Migration on Education and Work Among Nonmigrant Youth in Mexico

  • Andrew Halpern-Manners


While academic and policy circles have given much attention to the assimilatory experiences of Mexican immigrants in the United States, less is known about those who stay behind—an especially unfortunate oversight given the increasing number of Mexican youth with migrant family members. Of the studies on this topic, most have sought to identify the effect that migration has on youths’ migratory and educational aspirations, often using qualitative methods in individual sending communities. The present article supplements this research in two ways: (1) in addition to assessing educational outcomes, the scope of the analysis is expanded to include nonmigrants’ interaction with another homeland institution of upward mobility: the labor market; and (2) using a large demographic data set, statistical techniques are employed to adjust for unobserved selectivity into the migrant family-member population, thus accounting for a potentially serious source of bias. The results suggest that youth in migrant-sending families are less likely to complete the educational transitions leading up to postsecondary school and have a lower probability of participating in the local economy. The results also indicate that unobserved factors play a “nonignorable” role in sorting youth into migrant and nonmigrant families.


Migration Youth Sending areas Employment Educational attainment Mexico 



Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2006 meetings of the American Sociological Association and the 2007 meetings of the Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28). I am grateful to John Robert Warren, Scott Eliason, Jennifer C. Lee, Elaine M. Hernandez, Chris Uggen, and Teresa Swartz for their helpful comments and suggestions; and to the Minnesota Population Center for its invaluable research support. All errors and omissions, however, are solely my responsibility.

Supplementary material

13524_2010_10_MOESM1_ESM.xls (24 kb)
Supplementary Appendix Table Parameter estimates for the selection equation predicting family-member migration (DOC 24.5 kb)


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© Population Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Minnesota Population CenterUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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