There´s a boom in the retirement industry in Mexico. Presently, there are around half a million Americans retiring in Mexico. They do this because they get great weather, nice people, and with the same income they can live much better lives.
Today, when I was teaching at IE, a student of mine said that this number is expected to grow to 15 million in 10 years and that there are tons of new retiring communities being built. As he was saying this, I was thinking about the fence that the United States is building to protect itself from Mexican immigration and thought that, paradoxically, in 15 years the fence could be used by the Mexicans to protect themselves from US immigration, as percentage wise if the retirement home projections are true there will be a larger proportionate immigration going South than North.
Now giving that this is the case, why build the fence at all? Mexico and USA should do what Northern Europe did with Southern Europe in the EU: open the borders. What that did, surprisingly, is that income rose everywhere and most people stay put.
Posted on October 25, 2006