New Origins, New Destinations, and Their Pioneers

Katherine Bartley, University of Pennsylvania

Using data from Mexican Migration Project, this study investigates two hypotheses: 1) compared to migrants from historic sending regions, migrants heading from newer origins in Mexico are more likely to go to newer destinations in the United States; and 2) within new destinations, the first migrants, or ‘pioneers’, differ in measurable ways from those who follow them. The results generally provide support for the first hypothesis, with migrants from new origins being more likely to head to new destinations. The results regarding the second hypothesis are less straightforward. There is no evidence that early migrants are more likely to be male. Yet the pioneer migrants are more likely to have come from higher skilled occupations in Mexico. Additionally, the data suggest that compared to pioneer migrants, more recent migrants are more likely to have come from communities with longer migration histories, and to have had prior U.S. experience.

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Presented in Session 69: Migration and Urbanization Processes