Drug-Related Violence and Forced Migration from Mexico to the United States

Produced by: 
Munich Personal RePEc Archive
Available from: 
March 2013
Paper author(s): 
Eva Arceo-Gómez
Topic: 
Conflict, Crime and Violence
Demographic Economics - Migration
Year: 
2013

When President Felipe Calderón took office he declared a war on drug lords, thus initiating a war of attrition which has claimed more than 40,000 lives in the last 5 years. In this chapter I document how this escalation of violence has led Mexicans living close to the northern border to migrate to the United States. Using data from the American Community Survey to estimate migration, and administrative death records to estimate murder rates, I present evidence that the United States southern states have seen the largest increases in Mexican migration from 2005 to 2010. I also show that these new migrants are college educated, which is in high contrast with the archetypal Mexican migrant in the United States. My analysis also shows that there is a correlation between business openings and murder rates in Mexico. I conclude that the war on drugs is making wealthy well-educated Mexicans leave the country, thus diminishing the available skilled labor force and investment needed for future economic development.

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