Critic of the paper “Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: the role of migration networks.”
Critically analyze the paper Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: the role of migration networks by David McKenzie and Hillel Rapoport
The report should address the
a) Introduction to the research area, emphasizing why it is of policy importance, and
stating the specific question addressed by the paper.
b) Description of the data and methods used.
c) Summary and brief discussion of the primary findings
d) Critical assessment of the analysis, pointing out particular strengths and weaknesses.
Use the tools we develop in the latter portion of the class to highlight any threats to causal
interpretation, and discuss how any problems affect the results. Use the questions listed
under step 5 for guidance. Strive for level 3 critiques whenever possible.
(Levels of criticism of a
Level 1. Assumption x might be incorrect.
Level 2. Assumption x may be incorrect in a particular way for a particular reason, based
on economic theory, prior knowledge, or common sense.
Level 3. Assumption x may be incorrect because … If so, the results of the analysis will
be biased in the following direction.
Here is an example based on the literature studying the effects of immigrants on natives’ wages.
The assumption being evaluated is that immigrants’ location choices are effectively random.
Level 1. Immigrants may choose to locate in particular places, so their location choices are
not random, violating the assumption.
Level 2. Since immigrants have the choice of where to locate, they will probably choose
cities with high wages and high wage growth.
Level 3. If immigrants pick cities with high wage growth, comparisons of natives’ wages
in places with high vs. low immigration will be biased toward finding more
positive (less negative) effects of immigrants on natives’ wages.)
e) Discuss what you have learned from the paper, taking into account the problems you
discussed in part d).
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