Mexican Adolescent Migration to the U.S. and Transitions to Adulthood

Rene Zenteno, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte
Silvia Giorguli-Saucedo, El Colegio de México
Edith Yolanda Gutiérrez-Vázquez, El Colegio de México

Little systematic scholarly research has addressed the issue of adolescent migration. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project, we evaluate contemporary theories of international migration that account for the initiation of Mexican migration to the U.S. during adolescence and compare their results with those predicting migration at later stages of the life course. We hypothesize that the motivation for migrating will vary depending on the stage in the life course. If adolescent migration is seen as an individual decision linked to the process of gaining autonomy and to expectations around the meaning of “becoming of age,” a greater exposure to migration will have a greater impact on the probabilities of migrating. Economic variables will gain relevance later in the life course, when they may be related to the formation and needs of an independent household. We estimate discrete-time-hazard models of the probabilities of a first migration by sex.

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Presented in Session 61: Migration Impacts in Sending Countries