The last few years have witnessed a tremendous change in the geographic location patterns of the Mexican population in the United States. The rural South represents one of the areas that have seen a noticeable growth in the Mexican population over the last few years. Unfortunately, data necessary to examine the social and economic adjustment of Mexicans in this area are not available at this time. This analysis uses data from the 1990 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) to examine the earnings patterns bf Mexican-origin workers in the South. The sample used to conduct the analysis includes 9,509 Mexican-origin workers living in the South. For comparative purposes, the analysis is conducted separately by gender and nativity status. The results of the analysis suggest that nonmetro Mexican workers have lower earnings compared to metro Mexican workers even after control variables are taken into account. However, the findings show that nonmetro and metro Mexican workers do not differ significantly on their economic returns to their human capital endowments. The results of this study may serve as a benchmark for future studies that use data from the 2000 decennial census to assess the labor market experiences of Mexican newcomers to the South.

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