Mexican Seasonal Migration to Canada and Development: A Community-based Comparison



The article explores development and migration. Based on a comparison of investment-related behaviour of participants of the Canadian Mexican Seasonal Workers Programme from eleven Mexican villages, the article explores the impact of the nature of the migrants' community of origin on development. Contrary to the findings reported by the “new economics of labour migration” theorists, it was found that migrants from the least endowed communities, not from the best endowed communities, are likely to invest in agricultural land. This pattern is related to variable prices of land and the composition of the participants of the Canadian guest worker programme, most of whom are poor. The article draws attention to the importance of considering composition of migrant workers in an analysis of the impact of migration on community development. Development is analysed in the article from both the “growth” and the “quality of living” perspectives and it is found that regardless of the perspective used, the nature of the community does not affect the impact of migration on development.