Effects of United States domestic agricultural grain subsidies on Mexican migrant flows

Pat Robert O'Brien, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

United States national, domestic feed grain subsidies have little effect on rural Mexican migration to the United States. This research shows the effect of the United States domestic feed grain subsidies on unbalanced trade with Mexico, the effect of unbalanced feed grain trade on poverty in rural Mexico, and the effect of Mexican rural poverty on Mexican migration to the United States. The United States domestic agricultural infrastructure, including the United States General Services Support Estimate of subsidies, predict increased exports of corn to Mexico, but producer support subsidies to United States farmers do not. Mexican estimates of poverty are based on the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia (ENIGH) data and do not support an adverse economic impact on rural Mexico as a result of this trade imbalance with the United States. During the period studied the rates of rural Mexican poverty decreased. Although Mexican migration to the United States has consistently increased, the rate is not shown to be predicted by lower economic conditions of the Mexican rural poor. Thus the potential causality of United States national, domestic feed grain subsidies on rural Mexican migration to the United States is not supported by the data.