Class Year




Document Type


Distinguished Thesis


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program


First Advisor

Carolyn Tuttle

Second Advisor

Kent Grote

Third Advisor

David George


Immigration is an important human issue whose causes have been the subject of economic and econometric studies. Many of those studies, however, use microeconomic methods and studies. This senior thesis approaches immigration through macroeconomics. Rather than look for the characteristics of people who immigrate, this paper determines how the economies of Mexico and the U.S. effect one's decision to immigrate. This study collects data from 1976 - 2011 on the number of immigrants from Mexico to the U.S., the GDP per capita, life expectancy at birth, education expenditure, and unemployment of each country. Using regression analysis, a model tests the significance and expected effect of each factor on the number of people who immigrate each year. My hypothesis is that these factors do indeed have a significant effect on the number of immigrants arriving in the U.S. each year. If so, then these factors will prove to be important in the decision-making process of each immigrant. Therefore, instead of focusing on heightened security and monitoring of the border, policy directed towards these factors may prove to be more effective and cost efficient in the long run.

Included in

Economics Commons