Matthew Rooney, the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Managing Director, discusses the root causes of migration out of Central America and the importance of investment in policy reform.
As discussions swirl about how to stem illicit migration out of Central America, there is a lot of focus on the root causes of why people are leaving the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The underlying fundamental cause is demographics. In these youthful societies, thousands of young people enter the job market every year and have a hard time finding opportunities. When new American companies step in and offer to engage in the region, they should think about ways to link investment to policy reform. Making the business environment more transparent and reliable will help Central America become a place where companies can thrive, creating jobs over time and ultimately leading to self-sustaining prosperity.