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Who Participates in Mexico's Program for Migrant Agricultural Workers? Explaining the Distribution of Sending Communities in Ahuacuotzingo, Guerrero

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Abstract

This paper examines participation of residents from the Montaña Baja region of central Guerrero, Mexico, in the Mexican government's seasonal migrant laborer assistance program. The program has many functions, most notably serving as the hub linking migrant workers with agribusinesses elsewhere in Mexico. An archive of regional registrants for the 1999–2000 agricultural season is analyzed to infer patterns of local labor mobilization. We test the hypotheses that residents from larger communities and communities alongside roads are more likely to participate and we offer an explanation for their recruitment. Our explanations draw on understandings of patronage networks and the recruiting strategies of labor contractors. Our findings are significant and provide insight into the impact of clientelist networks on labor mobilization.

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