Social Globalization, Well-Being Indicators and Unaccompanied Child Migration From Central America

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Social Science and Global Studies


This research investigates the effect of well-being indicators and social globalization on the migration of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Central America. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the surge in UAC that began in 2014 at the U.S. southern border is driven primarily by violence or whether other factors are at play. The apprehension of UAC serves as a proxy for measuring unaccompanied child migration to the United States. Unemployment rates of young adults and expected years of schooling are included as a measure of youth engagement in productive activities, while homicide rates measure the threat to leading a productive, healthy life. Global social network links are considered as possible pull factors of migration and measured through a social globalization index. The results of a fixed effects regression model reveal that youth idleness, along with increased social globalization, prove to be significant in explaining heightened UAC migration.

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