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Davis, Jason & Eakin, Hallie (2013). Chiapas' Delayed Entry into the International Labour Market: A Story of Peasant Isolation, Exploitation, and Coercion. Migration and Development, 2(1), 132-149. PMCID: PMC4326006


This manuscript presents a synthetic view of Chiapas’ migration history over the last century through a thorough examination of relevant English and Spanish-language literature sources. Unlike most Mexican states, Chiapas did not heavily rely upon migration, especially international migration, as an economic strategy until very recently. The reasons that underlie Chiapas’ late adoption of economic migration include socio-political and economic structural factors that shaped rural and agrarian policy and demographic trends. This paper evaluates these structural factors with regards to several migration theories to assist our understanding of how and why Chiapans were prevented or discouraged from leaving their native communities. The paper concludes by detailing the perfect cascade of climatic, demographic, economic and political factors that ultimately forced Chiapans to resort to international migration as a major economic diversification strategy.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Migration and Development


Davis, Jason
Eakin, Hallie