Mexican migration flows and agricultural labor markets in the U.S.

Ashish Shenoy and Julian Arteaga
Publication Date

Using information on migratory flows for every Mexican municipality-US county pair throughout the 2006--2019 period, this paper estimates the effect that variations in Mexican migration flows have on U.S. agricultural labor-market outcomes. We instrument for migration-driven changes in local labor supply using a shift-share variable that combines Mexican municipality-level violence rates with preexisting migration network patterns. Our estimates show that, in the short run, decreasing migration rates induce agricultural firms to employ a larger number of indirectly-hired workers, to increase the number of H-2A seasonal worker visas requested, and to pay higher average wages to directly-hired farm workers.