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Spatial Dimensions of Trade Liberalization and Economic Convergence: Mexico 1985--2002

  • Patricio Aroca
  • Mariano Bosch
  • William F. Maloney

This article employs established techniques from the spatial economics literature to identify regional patterns of income and growth in Mexico and to examine how they have changed over the period spanned by trade liberalization and how they may be linked to the income divergence observed following liberalization. The article first shows that divergence has emerged in the form of several income clusters that only partially correspond to traditional geographic regions. Next, when regions are defined by spatial correlation in incomes, a "south" clearly exists, but the "north" seems to be restricted to the states directly on the U.S. border and there is no "center" region. Overall, the principal dynamic of both the increased spatial dependency and the increased divergence lies not on the border but in the sustained underperformance of the southern states, starting before the North American Free-Trade Agreement, and to a lesser extent in the superior performance of an emerging convergence club in the north-center of the country. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 345-378

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:19:y:2005:i:3:p:345-378
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  1. John Luke Gallup & Alejandro Gaviria & Eduardo Lora, 2003. "Is Geography Destiny? Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14454.
  2. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  3. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical Cross-Section Dynamics in Economic Growth," FMG Discussion Papers dp154, Financial Markets Group.
  4. Jeffrey R. Bernstein & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Do Endowments Predict the Location of Production? Evidence from National and International Data," NBER Working Papers 6815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bulli, Sandra, 2001. "Distribution Dynamics and Cross-Country Convergence: A New Approach," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 226-43, May.
  7. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney & Luis Servén, 2004. "Lessons from NAFTA for Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14457.
  8. repec:idb:brikps:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. de la Fuente, Angel, 1997. "The empirics of growth and convergence: A selective review," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 23-73, January.
  10. Maloney, William F. & Azevedo, Rodrigo R., 1995. "Trade reform, uncertainty, and export promotion: Mexico 1982-88," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 67-89, October.
  11. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  13. Bode, Eckhardt & Bickenbach, Frank, 2002. "Markov or not Markov - this should be a question," ERSA conference papers ersa02p024, European Regional Science Association.
  14. Hanson, Gordon H, 1997. "Increasing Returns, Trade and the Regional Structure of Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 113-33, January.
  15. Behrens, Kristian & Gaigné, Carl & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2003. "Inter-regional and International Trade: Seventy Years After Ohlin," CEPR Discussion Papers 4065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Enrique Lopez Bazo & Esther Vaya Valcarce & Antonio Jose Mora & Jordi Surinach Caralt, 1997. "Regional economic dynamics and convergence in the european union," Working Papers in Economics 12, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
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