Migrant-Funded Development: The Influence of Mexican Hometown Associations on Development Indicators
This thesis examines development as a catalyst for the decision to migrate. Specifically, the two complementary theories of relative deprivation and social networks are examined to explore possible associations between level of household development and migrants' designation of savings or remittances towards development-related purposes and whether remittances are positively affected by migrants' participation in a hometown association (HTA). The study relied on data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP), using the historical Mexican sending state of Jalisco. The MMP, using an ethnosurvey method, gathers data on individual migrant experiences, including border-crossing methods, jobs held, and participation in migrant hometown associations, amenities found in individual households, and available services in communities. No support was found for the first hypothesis, which predicted that relative deprivation was a catalyst of migration. Support was found for the second hypothesis, that migrant participation in HTAs, specifically in social clubs, positively influenced designation of savings or remittances for development-related purposes. This same support was not the case for migrant involvement in sport clubs. This thesis contributes to social network theory, pinpointing the positive effect that migrant participation in hometown associations has on designating money towards development.