University of Colorado at Boulder

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Fernando Riosmena

International migration, informal economy, and population dynamics; social demography, Latin America

Associate Professor of Geography 

Human Geography
Faculty of IBS
303-492-1476 IBS 3  |  Gugg 201h  
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Research Interests

Professor Riosmena's research looks at how demographic processes are associated with the spatial and social mobility, well-being, and development in Latin American societies and immigrant communities from said region in the United States. His main research areas are immigrant health throughout different stages of the migration process and the role of U.S. immigration policy and social, economic, and environmental conditions in sending communities on the migration dynamics between Latin America and the United States.

Selected Publications

Riosmena, F., R. Kuhn, & C. Jochem. (2017). Explaining the immigrant health advantage: self-selection and protection among five major national-origin immigrant groups in the United States. Demography 54(1):175-200. 10.1007/s13524-016-0542-2

Beltrán-Sánchez, H., A. Palloni, F. Riosmena, & R. Wong. (2016). SES Gradients among Mexicans in the United States and in Mexico: A New Twist to the Hispanic Paradox?. Demography 53(5):1555-1581.

Riosmena, F. (2016). The theoretical potential and methodological limits of cross-context comparative research on migration. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 666(1):28-45.

Nawrotzki, R. J., Riosmena, F., Hunter, L. M., & Runfola, D. M. 2015. (2015). Amplification or suppression: Social networks and the climate change – migration association in rural Mexico. Global Environmental Change 35, 463-474. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.002

Riosmena, F., B. Everett, R. Rogers, & J. Dennis. (2015). Negative Acculturation and Nothing More? Cumulative Disadvantage and Hispanic Mortality during the Immigrant Adaptation Process. nternational Migration Review49(2):443-478.

Publications updated May 2017

Recent Courses Include

Spring 2017  GEOG 6732 (3) Formal Population Geography

Fall 2016  GEOG 4292/5202 (3) Migration, Immigration and Adaptive Development

Graduate Students

immigration; population; health
migration; development; Latin America
Population, immigration, development, Latin America
Migration, international development, Senegal, United States
Ph.D. Alumni
A Model for Producing Large-Scale Spatially Explicit Future Population Scenarios
M.A. Alumni
Reconceptualizing Environmental Migration: Empirical Findings from Downscaled Estimates of Drought in Rural Mexico
M.A. Alumni
Migration and Informal versus Formal Business Creation in Mexico

What's New

During the past year I continued to do research on issues related to immigration from Latin America. Some of the most interesting issues I looked at relate to the effects and consequences of immigration policies in the migration dynamics of several Latin American groups. For instance, a colleague from Princeton and I looked at how U.S. immigration policy may influence emigration and return from Mexico, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, confirming the notion that enforcement-only approaches do not curb emigration from places with well-established migrant networks and suggesting increased enforcement may have further motivated migrants to delay returning home (or circulating between their places of origins and the U.S. at the very least). I took some of these lessons a bit further in a piece I wrote for a volume edited by the Mexican Population Council (the government body in charge of designing the country's population policy). In said paper, I describe recent changes in the migration dynamics of Mexicans and lay out the policy implications of these changes. I discuss the policy implications of these changes in general (whether potentially affected by policies or not) and make specific policy recommendations that could help fix the immigration system. In addition to echoing some recommendations put forth by other scholars with regards to creating a temporary worker program with a clear (but non-definite) avenue for permanent residence/ citizenship, I also suggest measures within this program that would promote the return of laborers to, along with their insertion in, the formal economy of their places of origin, which would be in line with some of the main migration-return motivations of people.

"What's New" updated February 2009