Do you want to migrate to the United States? Migration intentions and Cultural Traits in Latin America

Produced by: 
Universitat de Barcelona
Available from: 
January 2021
Paper author(s): 
Riccardo Turati
Topic: 
Demographic Economics - Migration
Year: 
2021

This paper empirically investigates whether aspiring emigrants from nineteen Latin American countries to the United States hold a different set of cultural traits compared to stayers. Using Gallup World Poll data and proxy on individual pro social behaviors and political attitudes towards the president of the United States, we observe that aspiring migrants share more pro social behaviors and support more the U.S. political leader than stayers. We find that already existing migration network reduces cultural selection on social behaviors, which holds mainly among the young and less educated population, and in less developed countries. The paper shows that such cultural self-selection is unlikely to affect the distribution of cultural traits in the origin countries, avoiding potential negative effects for Latin American countries. If any, culturally selected immigrants should have a beneficial effect to the United States.

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