November 4, 2009
U.S. Home Construction and the Mexican Economy
Last night on NPR I heard a very interesting story about how the crash of the home construction industry in the United States has impacted the Mexican economy. Listen to it here. (As a former immigration practitioner I'm always interested in how my two areas of interest - migration and land use - intersect.) The story is about how many Mexican migrants - particularly men who had been working in the construction industry - have been unable to send money home to Mexico. They interviewed the manager of a microlending bank in Mexico who said that, for a time, remittances were actually reversing. Families were borrowing money to send to their relatives in the U.S., to tide them over until they could find new jobs. The cash flow is slowly returning to its old pattern, but some young people in Mexico are resisting the urge to cross the border looking for jobs. However, with the Mexican economy expected to recover much more slowly than the U.S., the northward pressure is likely to resume.
Jamie Baker Roskie
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