Retorno Masivo? The 2008 Economic Crisis and Return Migration from the U.S. to Mexico

Michael Rendall, RAND Corporation
Peter Brownell, University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Kups, RAND Corporation

Researchers in the U.S. and Mexico have variously asserted that return migration from the U.S. to Mexico has increased substantially, remained unchanged, or declined slightly in response to the 2007-2009 U.S. recession and global financial crisis. The present study addresses this debate using microdata through mid-2009 from a large-scale, quarterly Mexican household survey, the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE), after first validating the ENOE against return migration estimates from a specialist demographic survey, the 2006 National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID). No evidence of increased return migration is found. Statistically significant declines in return migration, however, are found between the immediately pre-recession 2006/07 year and the 2008/09 recession year, and between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2008 when the global financial crisis had just been triggered.

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Presented in Session 11: Economic Recessions and Demographic Outcomes