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North America Watch: New Ways to Think about Borders and Oil Prices

March 9, 2015 3 minute Read by The Bush Institute

In this installment of North America Watch, a collection of pieces that affect the United States, Mexico and Canada, we look at two that particularly deal with the U.S./Mexico border. We also include one about the psychology of oil markets, which has a direct bearing on energy production in each of North America’s nations.

Americans may think of U.S/Mexico immigration flows as being about Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S. They certainly are the predominant share, but immigration flows can be more nuanced than assumed. The Dallas Morning News’ Alfredo Corchado reports in this counter-intuitive piece how immigration can flow both ways across the U.S/Mexico border.

Specifically, he reports on African-Americans immigrating to Mexico. The reasons are varied, but some African-Americans sought cities like Ciudad Juarez for a different way of life. The piece is worth reading as we think of how borders operate.

Similarly, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute released a report last month that looks at life along the U.S./Mexico border. Among the interesting findings is that common economics is what people in border communities like El Paso and Juarez think about.

Yes, migration and drugs are relevant topics. But such communities also look at ways to partner together.

One provocative local idea floated in this report is creating a trolley between El Paso and Juarez. Another way forward is more collaboration among universities, community colleges and technical schools on both sides of the Rio Grande.  Together, they can attract, retain and develop workers.

And, from another think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, comes this blog entry about the psychology of oil markets. The walkaway is that what you see does not always match with reality.

The piece looks at data about how claims about the decline of oil production have not ended with, well, the decline of oil production.  Conversely, claims about limitless supplies may have their own unwarranted impact on prices.

The data is worth reviewing no matter which side of the energy divide you come down on. So goes energy, so goes a major part of the economies of Mexico, Canada and the U.S.