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Schumpeter: The new New World

April 4, 2013

THE history of Latin American emigration is best told over lunch. Taco and tostada stalls have spread across the United States because 12m Mexicans have settled there. In Madrid, steaks sizzle on parrillas tended by Argentines who fled the economic crisis of the early 2000s. To wash such delicacies down, bars in any big city serve mojitos mixed by Cuban exiles.These days culinary ideas flow both ways. Mexico City is full of Spanish tapas bars. New Portuguese bakeries are springing up in S?o Paulo. Even American eateries are proliferating south of the border. The reason is that Latin America has become a destination as well as departure point for enterprising migrants.As rich countries stagnate, they cease to be magnets for mobile hands and brains. Net migration from Mexico to the United States has fallen to roughly zero. In Spain, where more than half of young people are unemployed, the number emigrating each year to Latin America trebled in the five years to 2011. ?Necessity has made them overcome the fear of moving abroad for work,? says Juan José Ribas, a Spaniard based in Costa Rica as regional head of Barceló, a...

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