October 2021

IZA DP No. 14817: Borrowing Constraints and the Dynamics of Return and Repeat Migration

As wages in migrant sending countries catch up with those in destinations, migrants adjust on several margins, including their duration of stay, the number of migrations they undertake, as well as the amount saved while abroad. This paper combines Mexican and U.S. data to estimate a dynamic model of consumption, emigration and re-migration, accounting for financial constraints. An increase in Mexican household earnings shortens migration duration, but raises the number of trips per migrant. For lower-income migrants, a rise in Mexican wages leads to a more than proportional effect on consumption expenditure in Mexico, arising from repatriated savings.