Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Philip Graves

Second Advisor

Brian Cadena

Third Advisor

Nicholas Flores

Fourth Advisor

William Travis

Fifth Advisor

Donald Waldman

Abstract

Mexico has many major problems such as: corruption, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, pollution, etc. Regarding pollution, politicians have established some programs trying to improve air quality in Mexico. But they do not know if Mexicans care about air pollution or they prefer that government faces other problems. Chapter one answers this question and in fact, I conclude that Mexicans do care about air pollution and they agree to pay to reduce it. This chapter follows a residential sorting model to calculate marginal willingness to pay for a reduction in air pollution. My estimates imply that the household head in Mexico would pay $443.66 to $2,682.92 (in constant 2000 Mexican pesos) or 46.90 to 283.61 (2000 dollars) for a one unit reduction in Particulate Matter emissions per year. Therefore, there are benefits to reduce this problem in Mexico. Chapter two analyzes the re-migration problem using a Probit model and compares those who migrate at least once versus those who migrate more than once to the U.S. The major result is that for those who migrate more than once, having a relative in the U.S. increases the probability to migrate to the U.S., but for those who migrate more than once to the U.S., there is no impact of this social network in the probability to re-migrate to the U.S. Therefore, I analyze the impact of this variable on the income a migrant can get in his first and last trip. In the first case, having a relative in the U.S. has an impact on the income a migrant can get in his first trip, but has no effect on income in his last migration. Finally, chapter three studies the convergence in one of the poorest state in Mexico: Oaxaca. I find that there is absolute convergence with poor municipalities growing faster than rice municipalities due to their smaller initial stock of capital in 2000. One major result is that there is a positive relationship between remittances and economic growth in this state. Also, the more money municipalities spent the lower economic growth rate of those municipalities.

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