As migration changes, shorter-term movements will bring migrants home with wealth accumulated abroad and human capital in the form of knowledge and new institutional norms that can improve domestic life. The American experience suggests that, for all the fears that Mexican culture is overwhelming the domestic variety, the influence is more likely to go the other way. Tyler Cowen, an economist who does field work in Mexico, points out that American influences—whether consumer tastes, a greater inclination to give to charity or more enthusiasm for democracy—are stronger there than anywhere else in Latin America. The spread of values, in other words, may be just as influential as the remittance of cash.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Emphasis is my own. This is an interesting way to look at temporary labourers. I've never perceived them as being potential ambassadors of American goods and values.
FYI: did you know that if you use an RSS to access The Economist, you're a click away from free content -- including the premium content that isn't accessible to non-subscribers on the magazine's Web page? Perhaps this is a temporary glitch.