IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Impact of the Maquiladora Industry on U.S. Border Cities

  • Jesús Cañas
  • Roberto Coronado
  • Robert W. Gilmer
  • Eduardo Saucedo

For decades, the maquiladora industry has been a major economic engine along the U.S.–Mexico border. Since the 1970s, researchers have analyzed how the maquiladora industry affects cities along both sides of the border. Gordon Hanson (2001) produced the first comprehensive study on the impact of the maquiladoras on U.S. border cities, considering the impact of these in-bond plants on both employment and wages. His estimates became useful rules of thumb for the entire U.S.–Mexico border. These estimates have become dated, as Hanson's study covered the period from 1975 to 1997. The purpose of this paper is to update Hanson's results using data from 1990 to 2006 and to extend the estimates to specific border cities. For the border region as a whole, we find that the impact of a 10 percent increase in maquiladora production leads to a 0.5 to 0.9 percent change in employment. However, we also find that the border average is quite misleading, with large differences among individual border cities. Cities along the Texas–Mexico border benefit the most from growing maquiladora production. We also estimate the cross-border maquiladora impacts before and after 2001 when border security begins to rise, the maquiladora industry entered a severe recession and extensive restructuring and global low-wage competition intensified as China joined the World Trade Organization. Empirical results indicate that U.S. border cities are less responsive to growth in maquiladora production from 2001 to 2006 than in the earlier period; however, when looking into specific sectors we find that U.S. border city employment in service sectors are far more responsive post-2001.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Growth and Change.

Volume (Year): 44 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 415-442

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:44:y:2013:i:3:p:415-442
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Thomas M Fullerton Jr, 2004. "Currency Movements and International Border Crossings," Urban/Regional 0407008, EconWPA.
  2. Jorge Blázquez-Lidoy & Javier Rodríguez & Javier Santiso, 2006. "Angel or Devil? China's Trade Impact on Latin American Emerging Markets," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 252, OECD Publishing.
  3. Jesus Canas & Roberto Coronado & Robert W. Gilmer, 2005. "Trade, manufacturing put Mexico back on track in 2004," Houston Business, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Mar.
  4. Jesus Canas & Roberto Coronado & Bill Gilmer, 2004. "Maquilador downturn: structural change or cyclical factors?," Business Frontier, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Thomas M Fullerton Jr, 2004. "Cross Border Business Cycle (Impacts on Commercial Electricity Demand," Urban/Regional 0407010, EconWPA.
  6. Jesus Canas & Roberto Coronado & Robert W. Gilmer, 2005. "Texas border employment and maquiladora growth," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, number 2005tbeam.
  7. Jesus Cañas & Roberto Coronado & Keith Phillips, 2006. "Border benefits from Mexican shoppers," Southwest Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue May, pages 11-13.
  8. Gallagher, Kevin P. & Moreno-Brid, Juan Carlos & Porzecanski, Roberto, 2008. "The Dynamism of Mexican Exports: Lost in (Chinese) Translation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1365-1380, August.
  9. Keith R. Phillips & Jesus Canas, 2004. "Business cycle coordination along the Texas-Mexico border," Working Papers 0502, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  10. Keith Phillips & Jesus Cañas, 2008. "Regional business cycle integration along the US–Mexico border," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 153-168, March.
  11. André Mollick & Abigaíl Cortez-Rayas & Rosa Olivas-Moncisvais, 2006. "Local labor markets in U.S.–Mexican border cities and the impact of maquiladora production," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 95-116, March.
  12. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 1993. "NAFTA: An Assessment, Revised Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 70.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:44:y:2013:i:3:p:415-442. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.