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  • Author: Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, Hannah Postel
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An important class of active labor market policy has received little rigorous impact evaluation: immigration barriers intended to improve the terms of employment for domestic workers by deliberately shrinking the workforce. Recent advances in the theory of endogenous technical change suggest that such policies could have limited or even perverse labor market effects, but empirical tests are scarce. We study a natural experiment that excluded almost half a million Mexican ‘bracero’ seasonal agricultural workers from the United States, with the stated goal of raising wages and employment for domestic farm workers. We build a simple model to clarify how the labor market effects of bracero exclusion depend on assumptions about production technology, and test it by collecting novel archival data on the bracero program that allow us to measure state-level exposure to exclusion for the first time. We reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion required by the model in the absence of induced technical change, and fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion had no eect on US agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms for this result include both adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Immigration, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: David J. Danelo
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, Mexico’s drug war has taken over 30,000 lives, destabilized the U.S.-Mexico border, and become a security crisis for the North American continent. Two years ago, a December 2008 Pentagon report warned about the strategic consequences for the United States of a rapid collapse of two nations: Pakistan and Mexico. “The Mexican possibility might seem less likely,” said the report, “but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault by drug cartels.” Any sudden collapse would require a U.S. response “based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.” This scenario has not come to pass, and a full scale collapse of Mexico remains unlikely. That said, Mexico’s security situation has direct consequences in the United States. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, coalitions of sheriffs, agents, activists and concerned citizens have rallied to increase public awareness. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Mexican drug cartels maintain distribution networks in 295 U.S. cities through brutal gang activity. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined a chorus of policy analysts and terrorism experts by referring to Mexico’s drug war as a “criminal insurgency.” In recent visits to Mexico, both President Barack Obama and the Secretary of State have acknowledged U.S. responsibility to reduce drug demand and invest in “partnership.” As the joint response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus by U.S. and Mexican health officials illustrated, United States and Mexico policy responses are inextricably linked.
  • Topic: Crime, National Security, War on Drugs, Immigration, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Andrew Selee, Katie Putnam, Christopher Wilson
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: No country in the world affects daily life in the United States more than Mexico. The two countries are deeply intertwined, and what happens on one side of the border necessarily has consequences on the other side. Almost one in ten Americans is of Mexican descent, and a third of all immigrants in the United States today are from Mexico, while well over a half-million Americans live in Mexico. Mexico remains the second destination for U.S. exports after Canada, and millions of American jobs depend on this trade. From south to north the linkages are even greater: over three quarters of Mexico's exports go to the United States and one in ten Mexicans lives in the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Immigration, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Central America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: It is time to strengthen the U.S. relationship with Mexico. here are few countries—if any—which are as important to the United States as Mexico. We share more than just a two-thousand mile border. Our economies and societies are deeply interwoven and what happens on one side of our shared border inevitably affects the other side. As the United States seeks to redefine its role in the world, it is vital to start at home, with our neighbors.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Bilateral Relations, Immigration, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Mexico