Self-Employment, Health Insurance, and Return Migration of Middle-Aged and Elderly Mexican Males

  • Emma AguilaEmail author
  • Raquel Fonseca
  • Alma Vega


In this study, we examine the factors associated with self-employment for Mexicans close to retirement age, including the role of U.S. migration experience and health insurance. Using cross-tabulation and probit models on a unique source of information, the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) panel data for 2001, 2003, and 2012, we find that individuals with 1–9 years of U.S. migration experience are more likely to be self-employed than those who had never been to the United States. Moreover, consistent with the literature, we find that self-employed workers are less likely to have health insurance than salaried workers and are also less likely to retire. This may indicate that self-employed workers are more likely to be in the informal sector and not eligible for social security benefits during retirement.


Self-employment Return migration Health insurance Social security Mexico 


J21 I13 H55 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) funded under program project “International Comparisons of Well-Being, Health and Retirement” (2P01AG022481-06). This study was also supported by a NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein-National Service Research Award (T32AG000244) available to Alma Vega as a postdoctoral fellow at the RAND Corporation. We thank Joanna Carroll for her excellent programming assistance and Sarah Kups for her excellent research assistance, and anonymous referees for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sol Price School of Public PolicyUniversity of Southern California (USC) and RANDLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Département des sciences économiquesUniversité du Quebec a Montréal and RANDMontréalCanada
  3. 3.RANDSanta MonicaUSA

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