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The Human Development Trap in Mexico

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  • Mayer-Foulkes, David

Abstract

Summary A dynamic poverty trap model describing long-term human development is defined in the context of endogenous technological change. Increasing returns are not required: market failures and indivisibilities imply a human capital undersupply and hence above-equilibrium returns. Evidence for this trap is provided for Mexico. High returns to education and early child development, untapped by about 75% of the population, imply an undersupply of human capital. A double-peaked schooling distribution for male and female spouses attests to multiple equilibria. One peak lies beyond complete higher secondary, the other below complete lower secondary schooling. Supporting early child development can help eliminate the trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2008. "The Human Development Trap in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 775-796, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:5:p:775-796
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen C. Smith & Sungil Kwak, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty and Interlocking Poverty Traps: Framework and Application to Ethiopian Household Panel Data," Working Papers 2011-04, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    2. Viviane Azevedo & César P. Bouillon, 2009. "Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1656, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Golub, Alexander & Toman, Michael, 2014. "Climate change, industrial transformation, and"development traps"," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6951, The World Bank.
    4. Oded Galor & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2004. "Food for Thought: Basic Needs and Persistent Educational Inequality," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410002, EconWPA.
    5. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2010. "Non-communicable Chronic Diseases in the Americas: An Economic Perspective on Health Policie," Working papers DTE 488, CIDE, División de Economía.
    6. Iniguez-Montiel, Alberto Javier, 2014. "Growth with Equity for the Development of Mexico: Poverty, Inequality, and Economic Growth (1992–2008)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 313-326.
    7. Mayer-Foulkes David A, 2011. "A Survey of Macro Damages from Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases: Another Challenge for Global Governance," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-27, March.
    8. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2012. "FDI, Polarized Globalization, and the Current Crisis," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_052, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    9. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2008. "Economic Geography of Human Development: Stratified Growth in Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and Peru," Working papers DTE 436, CIDE, División de Economía.
    10. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2011. "A Causal Panorama of Cross-Country Human Development," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_049, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    11. Casabonne, Ursula & Kenny, Charles, 2012. "The Best Things in Life are (Nearly) Free: Technology, Knowledge, and Global Health," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 21-35.

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