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Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?

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  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Kim J. Ruhl

Abstract

Following its opening to trade and foreign investment in the mid-1980s, Mexico’s economic growth has been modest at best, particularly in comparison with that of China. Comparing these countries and reviewing the literature, we conclude that the relation between openness and growth is not a simple one. Using standard trade theory, we find that Mexico has gained from trade, and by some measures, more so than China. We sketch out a theory in which developing countries can grow faster than the United States by reforming. As a country becomes richer, this sort of catch-up becomes more difficult. Absent continuing reforms, Chinese growth is likely to slow down sharply, perhaps leaving China at a level less than Mexico’s real GDP per working-age person.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16580.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2010. "Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1005-27, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16580

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy J. Kehoe & Felipe Meza, 2011. "Catch-up Growth Followed by Stagnation: Mexico, 1950–2010," NBER Working Papers 17700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2012. "Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 20399, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Foellmi, Reto & Oechslin, Manuel, 2012. "Globalization and Productivity in the Developing World," Economics Working Paper Series 1203, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  4. Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2012. "Productivity and the Welfare of Nations," Working Papers 621, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Robert A. Blecker & Carlos A. Ibarra, 2013. "Trade liberalization and the balance of payments constraint with intermediate imports: the case of Mexico revisited," Working Papers 2013-02, American University, Department of Economics.
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:162 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Barry Eichengreen & Donghyun Park & Kwanho Shin, 2012. "When Fast-Growing Economies Slow Down: International Evidence and Implications for China," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 11(1), pages 42-87, February.
  8. Timothy Kehoe & Felipe Meza, 2011. "Catch-up Growth Followed by Stagnation: Mexico 1950–2008," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 48(2), pages 227–268.
  9. Syvertsen, Jennifer L. & Robertson, Angela M. & Rolón, María Luisa & Palinkas, Lawrence A. & Martinez, Gustavo & Rangel, M. Gudelia & Strathdee, Steffanie A., 2013. "“Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't feel”: Coping with sex work in intimate relationships and its implications for HIV/STI prevention," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-8.
  10. Colantone, Italo & Crinò, Rosario, 2014. "New imported inputs, new domestic products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 147-165.
  11. Ariel Burstein & Javier Cravino, 2012. "Measured Aggregate Gains from International Trade," NBER Working Papers 17767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Blecker, 2014. "Structural Change, the Real Exchange Rate, and the Balance of Payments in Mexico, 1960-2012," Working Papers 2014-01, American University, Department of Economics.

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