International migration and schooling as alternative means of social mobility in Mexico

Carla Pederzini, Universidad Iberoamericana
Liliana Meza, Universidad Iberoamericana

Our hypothesis states that the migration experience at the household and the community level can change family preferences, increasing the value of migration as a more efficient means for family social mobility, and decreasing the value attributed to formal education. In this case, the relaxation of monetary constraints attributed to remittances may not increase the amounts families spend in schooling, and can even decrease them as families invest more in trying to get another member into the international labor market. Using the National Survey of Mexican Rural Households (ENHRUM), this paper tries to understand the role migration and remittances play in the schooling decisions of rural households. We analyze two different dimensions of education performance: school attendance and schooling years, for two different age groups classified by gender: 11 to 15 and 16 to 19 years old. Our results show gender effects of household migration experience on schooling. We also find that "Oportunidades" seems to deter migration at a household level, but other government transfer programs seem to promote it among rural families. Families receiving transfer from Oportunidades are more likely to receive remittances, suggesting these are the poorest families of the sample. Households in communities with more income inequality are more prone to use migration and remittances as means for social mobility. SOme of the policy recommendations taht can be drawn from our study are Education in rural Mexico should be improved, given that our study suggests it is not considered an efficient means for male social mobility.Economic activity should match the skills of the population, but also skills should be adapted to the kind of investment the community receives.

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Presented in Session 69: Education and Migration Process