Determinants of Illegal Mexican Immigration into the US Southern Border States
Eastern Economic Journal,
We model illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border into Arizona, California, and Texas as an unobservable variable applying a Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes model. Using state-level data from 1985 to 2004, we test the incentives and deterrents influencing illegal immigration. Better labor market conditions in a US state and worse in Mexico encourage illegal immigration while more intense border enforcement deters it. Estimating the state-specific inflow of illegal Mexican immigrants we find that the 1994/95 peso crisis in Mexico led to significant increases in illegal immigration. US border enforcement policies in the 1990s provided temporary relief while post-9/11 re-enforcement has reduced illegal immigration.
Modelling Country Default Risk as a Latent Variable: A Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes Approach
We study the determinants of country default risk by applying a Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model. This accounts for the fact that country default risk is an unobservable variable. Whereas existing (regression-based) approaches typically use only one of several possible country default risk indicators as the dependent variable, the MIMIC model enables us to consider several indicators at once. The simultaneous consideration of sovereign yield spreads and Standard and Poor (S&P) ratings may help to improve the identification of the latent country default risk. Our results confirm most of the literature's main findings regarding important determinants of country default risk, refute others and provide new evidence to controversial questions.
Smuggling Illegal versus Legal Goods across the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Structural Equations Model Approach
Southern Economic Journal,
We study the smuggling of illegal and legal goods across the U.S.-Mexico border from 1975 to 2004. Using a Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model we test the microeconomic determinants of both smuggling types and reveal their trends. We find that illegal goods smuggling decreased from $116 billion in 1984 to $27 billion in 2004 as a result of improved labor market conditions in Mexico and intensified U.S. border enforcement. Smuggling legal goods is motivated by tax and tariff evasion. While export misinvoicing fluctuated at low levels, import misinvoicing switched from underinvoicing to overinvoicing after Mexico's accession to the GATT and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) induced lower tariffs.