Publication Date

April 2011


Daniel Long


History (HIST), Sociology


English (United States)


This thesis investigates the economic impact of mass migration on sending communities in Mexico through a case study of a municipality in the state of Morelos. Scholars have debated whether emigration promotes higher rates of investment, greater productivity, and development, or dependency, disinvestment from local economies, and economic stagnation. I argue that migration leads to a process of “dependent development.” I find that migrants and their households are not more likely to start businesses, as more optimistic analysts have predicted, since entrepreneurship requires certain resources (namely social and human capital) to which many migrants do not have access. Further, a number of historical factors, perhaps most importantly the class profile of pioneer migrants from this community, have discouraged investment by migrants in agriculture. Consequently, I concur with more pessimistic theorists that the vast bulk of migradollars(a catchall term for remittances and other income tha



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