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Soc Sci Res. 2009 Jun;38(2):324-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2008.12.001.

Socioeconomic context and the association between marriage and Mexico-U.S. migration.

Author information

  • Population Program, Institute of Behavioral Science and Geography Department, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0484, USA. fernando.riosmena@gmail.com


In this paper, I analyze how the association between Mexico-U.S. migration and marriage varies across socioeconomic settings in origins. Using Mexican Migration Project data and employing bilevel survival analysis with controls for socioeconomic, migrant network, and marriage market characteristics and family size, I find that single people are most likely to migrate relative to those married in areas of recent industrialization, where the Mexican patriarchal system is weaker and economic opportunities for both men and women make post-marital migration less attractive. Marital status is not significant in agriculture-dependent areas, where the bargaining power of husbands might be higher relative to other settings; their age-profiles of earnings flatter; and remunerated female work scarcer, making migration attractive later in the life course.


Family; Gender; Marriage; Mexico; Migration; United States

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