Climbing up the Ladder: A Life-Course Perspective on the Social Mobility Trends among Mexicans in the United States and Return Migrants in Mexico




Bautista Leon, Andrea

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In the new era of migration between Mexico and the U.S, research has focused on quantifying and identifying the demographic profiles of recent immigrants in the U.S. and returnees in Mexico. However, research on individual trajectories is scarce, especially research looking for mechanisms of educational and occupational attainment that can explain the incorporation in the receiving society and re-incorporation upon return. Through the different chapters in this dissertation, I explore different mechanisms of social mobility among a cohort of migrants in the U.S. and returned migrants in Mexico. In this dissertation, I study two populations. The first is Mexican individuals that migrated before the age of 18 or were born in the U.S. and had Mexican parentage, currently living in the U.S. The second comprises of returned migrants in Mexico who spent at least one year in the U.S. Both populations were born between 1975 and 1985. I study their educational and occupational features and how these are related to the characteristics of the family of origin and other socio-demographic indicators to estimate their intergenerational and intra-generational mobility at different points in time. The uniqueness of this research is the consideration of both 1) intergenerational effects, through the analysis of the effects of the characteristics of the family of origin, and 2) intra-generational effects, related to individual trajectories and life events during the transition to adulthood, on the attainment of social status among a bi-national sample of Mexican migrants.



International Migration, Return Migration, Social Mobility