Seeking social security: An alternative motivation for Mexico-US migration

Mariano Sana, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this analysis we investigate the degree to which the absence of effective pension systems may generate motivations for international migration as a means of self-financing retirement. Using ethnosurvey data gathered in selected Mexican communities and US destination areas, we estimate models to predict the odds of US migration from indicators of relative wages and whether or not jobs in Mexico were covered by that country's social security system. We find that by holding constant the binational differential in expected wages, the odds of out-migration were much higher for male household heads working in jobs that were not covered by social security compared with those working in jobs that enjoyed such coverage. Subsequent analyses showed that the odds of receiving a pension in old age were systematically higher for former US migrants, and that the likelihood of pension receipt rose steadily as the number of US trips and amount of US experience accumulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography


Dive into the research topics of 'Seeking social security: An alternative motivation for Mexico-US migration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this