UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

AAEA Presentation by Ruben Irvin Rojas Valdes: The Dynamic Migration Game: A Structural Econometric Model and Application to Rural Mexico

July 26, 2017

Advisor: C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell and J. Edward Taylor
Fields: Development Economics, Applied Econometrics

Time: Tuesday, August 1st, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Location: Great America I, 6th Floor

For my Ph.D. dissertation, I analyze the dynamic and strategic migration, labor market participation, and schooling decisions of individuals and households in rural Mexico using reduced-form and structural econometric models. In the first part of my dissertation, I use reduced-form econometric models to examine whether strategic interactions matter for migration decisions. In the base case specification, an increase of 0.1 in the fraction of neighbors with migration to the US increases a household's probability of migration to the US by around 5.9 percentage points, while an increase of 0.1 in the fraction of neighbors with migration to other states within Mexico increases a household's probability of migration to other states within Mexico by around 6.3 percentage points. I also find that strategic interactions vary nonlinearly with village size. To analyze both the dynamic and strategic dimensions of migration, in the second part of my dissertation I develop and estimate a structural econometric model of the dynamic game among households in a village. The main findings of my analysis regard the effects of changes in wages, schooling, and the effects of simulated government policies, and how these effects vary across villages. For the third part of my dissertation I am developing and estimating a structural econometric model of the within-household migration game in which I will study the dynamics and strategic interactions that occur when household members choose diverse work types and locations, and when they also have the option of investing in human capital.

 

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