NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts

David Card, Ethan G. Lewis

NBER Working Paper No. 11552
Issued in August 2005
NBER Program(s):   LS

Mexican immigrants were historically clustered in a few cities, mainly in California and Texas. During the past 15 years, however, arrivals from Mexico established sizeable immigrant communities in many "new" cities. We explore the causes and consequences of the widening geographic diffusion of Mexican immigrants. A combination of demand-pull and supply push factors explains most of the inter-city variation in inflows of Mexican immigrants over the 1990s, and also illuminates the most important trend in the destination choices of new Mexican immigrants – the move away from Los Angeles. Mexican inflows raise the relative supply of low-education labor in a city, leading to the question of how cities adapt to these shifts. One mechanism, suggested by the Hecksher Olin model, is shifting industry composition. We find limited evidence of this mechanism: most of the increases in the relative supply of low-education labor are absorbed by changes in skill intensity within narrowly defined industries. Such adjustments could be readily explained if Mexican immigrant inflows had large effects on the relative wage structures of different cities. As has been found in previous studies of the local impacts of immigration, however, our analysis suggests that relative wage adjustments are small.

download in pdf format
   (1016 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (1016 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11552

Published: The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts , David Card, Ethan G. Lewis. in Mexican Immigration to the United States, Borjas. 2007

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Card w11547 Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?
Card and Lewis The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts
Card w14683 Immigration and Inequality
Borjas and Katz w11281 The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States
Borjas and Katz The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us