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¿El comercio lleva a la convergencia? Un análisis del efecto del TLCAN sobre la convergencia local en México


  • Díaz Dapena, Alberto

    (Laboratorio de Análisis Económico regional (REGIOlab), Universidad de Oviedo, España)

  • Fernández Vázquez, Esteban

    (Laboratorio de Análisis Económico regional (REGIOlab), Universidad de Oviedo, España)

  • Garduño Rivera, Rafael

    (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), sede Región Centro, México)

  • Rubiera Morollón, Fernando

    (Laboratorio de Análisis Económico regional (REGIOlab), Universidad de Oviedo, España)


Background: Regional Economics and Economic Growth focus on the question of whether trade leads to a greater concentration of economic activity. Nevertheless, little empirical work has assessed the impact of trade on regional convergence. Therefore, this paper studies the regional convergence that has occurred in Mexico since NAFTA came into effect. Unlike previous papers, working with municipal-level data allows us to both observe the convergence patterns across space more clearly and to identify the effect of NAFTA. Methods: A conditional ß -convergence model and conditional club ß -convergence model were performed. However, in contrast to previous empirical studies, we use municipal panel data to identify more clearly the relationship between trade and regional convergence, and include the 2009 economic census to observe whether, after fifteen years of NAFTA, the economy has decentralized away from Mexico City to the US border regions. Results: The result shows that after NAFTA came into effect, the convergence in regions near the US border grew faster than it did in those further from it. However, there is a significant reduction in the ß coefficient after NAFTA, indicating a slowdown in the rate of convergence. Furthermore, we find that rather than becoming integrated into world markets, municipalities in the south have instead lagged behind their counterparts since the signing of NAFTA. Conclusions: Even though centrifugal forces are starting to function, there is a significant reduction in the ß coefficient after NAFTA came into effect. This suggests that better policies will be needed in order to control the increase in regional disparities.// Antecedentes: La economía regional y el crecimiento económico se enfocan en la pregunta de si el comercio conlleva a una mayor concentración de la actividad económica. No obstante, pocos trabajos empíricos han evaluado los impactos del comercio en la convergencia regional. Por lo tanto, este trabajo estudia la convergencia derivada del comercio de México después del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América Norte (TLCAN). A diferencia de trabajos previos, los datos a nivel municipal permiten observar mejor los patrones de convergencia en el espacio e identificar el efecto del TLCAN. Métodos: Se diseñaron un modelo de convergencia ß condicional y un modelo de convergencia ß condicional de clubes. Sin embargo, a diferencia de estudios empíricos anteriores, se utilizan datos municipales de panel para identificar con mayor claridad la relación entre el comercio y la convergencia regional, además se incluyen datos de los censos económicos de 2009 para observar si, después de 15 años de la entrada en vigor del TLCAN, la actividad económica se ha descentralizado y se ha trasladado de la Ciudad de México a las regiones fronterizas con los Estados Unidos. Resultados: Los resultados muestran que, después de la implementación del TLCAN, la convergencia entre regiones cercanas a la frontera con los Estados Unidos creció más rápidamente que en aquéllas cuya posición geográfica es más lejana. Sin embargo, hay una reducción significativa de los coeficientes ß después del TLCAN, lo que indica una ralentización de la tasa de convergencia. Asimismo, se halla que los municipios del sur no se han integrado a los mercados del mundo; por el contrario, se han quedado rezagados con respecto a sus contrapartes después de la implementación del TLCAN. Conclusiones: A pesar de que las fuerzas centrífugas están empezando a funcionar, hay una reducción significativa del coeficiente ß después de la entrada en vigor del TLCAN. Esto indica que se necesitan mejores políticas para controlar el aumento de las disparidades regionales.

Suggested Citation

  • Díaz Dapena, Alberto & Fernández Vázquez, Esteban & Garduño Rivera, Rafael & Rubiera Morollón, Fernando, 2017. "¿El comercio lleva a la convergencia? Un análisis del efecto del TLCAN sobre la convergencia local en México," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(333), pages .103-120, enero-mar.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:103-120

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    Cited by:

    1. Fonseca Felipe J. & Llamosas-Rosas Irving & Rangel González Erick, 2018. "Economic Liberalization and External Shocks. The Hypothesis of Convergence for the Mexican States, 1994-2015," Working Papers 2018-26, Banco de México.
    2. Pablo Mejía‐Reyes & Víctor Hugo Torres‐Preciado, 2020. "Determinants of Manufacturing Employment in the Mexican States, 2004–2017," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 303-318, April.
    3. Alejandra Trejo Nieto, 2021. "Regional disparities in Mexico and the spatially cumulative effects of national development and economic cycles, 1940–2013," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 1283-1296, August.
    4. Valdez , Rolando I., 2019. "Spatial diffusion of economic growth and externalities in Mexico," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 45, pages 139-160.

    More about this item


    convergencia; clústeres; comercio internacional; TLCAN y México;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods


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