We examine the impact of different types of social networks on the wages earned by unauthorized and legal Mexican migrants during their last U.S. trip. Familial ties raise unauthorized and legal migrants’ hourly wages by an average of 2.6% and 8%, respectively, and friendship ties increase their wages by 5.4% and 3.6%, correspondingly. Furthermore, family ties seem to comparatively favor legal migrants in terms of earnings, raising their wages by approximately 0.9% more than for similar unauthorized migrants. These results underscore the potentially important role of social networks in raising Mexican migrants’ earnings, particularly among unauthorized migrants. By increasing the returns to migration, social networks may provide a stimulus to continued emigration.

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