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Migration, Poverty and Human Development Luis F. Lopez-Calva UNDP, Latin America and the Caribbean
Contents • Migration and human development • Migration and local conditions • Migration abroad and human development • Migration and remittances • Migratory policy in Mexico
Migration and Human Development
The importance of migration • 11 million people born in Mexico lived in the US in 2005 • Remittances were 3.5% of the GDP in 2005 • 2.7% of the population changed residence from one State to another in 2005
Migration and Local Conditions
.014914 Official urban poverty line 3.5 times the official urban poverty line Probabilty .00228 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 Per capita income Probability of migration and per capita income
Poverty and migration • The poor are not the main group that migrates… • …but migration among the poor is increasing • The poor migrate in response to economic shocks… • …but as social networks expand the poor migrate as a planned decision
Migration as an individual decision • In 2005, almost 11 million people born in Mexico lived permanently or temporarily in US. • Evidence shows that the principal trigger to migrate is the development gap between regions. • According to the theory of Spatial Localization differentials include not only salaries but also another indicators of living conditions in general.
Migration as an individual decision • The migration decision reveals the evaluation of cost-benefit individuals make to several dimensions like economic welfare, cultural change, family welfare, social and community rights. • However, the migration decision involves imperfect information and idiosyncratic conditions that affect the final decision.
Cost of Migration • Practically all migrants crossing without documents need “help” from a coyote (pollero). • The average cost of a coyote in 2003 was US$1,600. • The relationship between the demand for coyotes and their cost is controversial though it has been found that elasticity is low. This suggests that coyote price could be a second order parameter. • This argument supports the hypothesis that policies of border tightening do not have the expected effect in the reduction of migratory flows
Cost of Migration Price and percentage of migrants using coyote (migrants crossing without documents)
Border tightening policies since the 90s DID NOT reduced migration flows The main effects are: People stay longer, they do not go back (reduction in “circular” seasonal migration) They bring their families The cost of migration (coyotes and other costs) increases Routes change and conditions worsen Effects of Border Tightening
Migration and Education • Historically, migrants have, on average, higher levels of education than those non-migrants in their communities, though lower than in the receiving places in the United States • The above is especially true for women, a population group where migrants have a schooling differential higher than in the case of men with respect to those non-migrants within their own communities • Migration tends to reduce inequality in levels of education, at least in the short-run
Remittances promote greater investment in primary and secondary education for the sons of migrant families, with a favorable bias for girls; and Migration discourages investment in middle-high and high levels of education (individuals of 16 to 18 years of age) in communities with a migrant tradition. Migration and Education
Migration and Health • The relationship between migration an health is overly complex. • It is necessary to examine the process in three different moments: the origin, the route to the north, and the destination. • Migration has negative consequences for the family dynamics of those staying (depressive syndromes, anxiety and other mental disorders). • Remittances have been shown to have a positive effect on children’s health (lower infant mortality and higher weight at birth)
Migration and Remittances
Remittances and development • There is an inverse U-shaped relationship between human development and migratory intensity. Human development index and migratory intensity index by municipality, 2000.
Income and Remittances • The states receiving more income from remittances as a share of its GDP are Michoacan and Zacatecas, followed by Oaxaca and Guerrero
Program 3x1 • The program 3x1 for migrants is created in 2002 by the Mexican Federal government. • Supporting initiatives of productive projects and social infrastructure from migrants abroad. • Beneficiaries are people living in poverty in any of the 31 states of Mexico. • Projects are funded as follows: 25% from federal Govt; 25% from migrant organizations; 50% from local and state governments.
Final Comments • Migration is a way of exercising the effective freedom of people. • Public policy should favor that the exercising of such an option is a legitimate way of individual development. • The purpose of any development strategy must be the raising of welfare and freedom levels for concrete individuals in a sustainable way.
Final Comments • The most commendable migratory policy is a strategy of sustainable local development • Only convergence through regional development strategies can eventually stabilize migration flows