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Trade liberalisation in Mexico: rhetoric and reality

  • Pennelope Pacheco-Lopez

    ()

    (National University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City (Mexico))

  • Anthony P. Thirlwall

    ()

    (University of Kent, Department of Economics, Canterbury (Great Britain))

Trade liberalisation in Mexico started in a significant way in 1985/86, and was consolidated by the NAFTA agreement 1994. Mexico was expected to benefit in terms of increased export growth, employment, real wages, and above all, a faster rate of economic growth. In practice, there has been a divorce between rhetoric and reality. The growth of GDP post-liberalisation has been only one-half that pre-liberalisation. This paper gives three explanations. Firstly, export growth has hardly changed. Secondly, there has been a sharp increase in the propensity to import (partly related to US direct foreign investment) which has reduced the growth of GDP consistent with a sustainable balance of payments equilibrium on current account. Thirdly, liberalisation has been used as a substitute for a development strategy.

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Article provided by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in its journal BNL Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): 57 (2004)
Issue (Month): 229 ()
Pages: 141-167

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Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlaqr:2004:23
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  1. Anthony Philip Thirlwall, 1979. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 32(128), pages 45-53.
  2. Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, 1999. "Mexico's Economic Growth and the Balance of Payments Constraint: A cointegration analysis," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 149-159.
  3. J.-C. Moreno-Brid, 1998. "Balance-of-payments constrained economic growth: the case of Mexico," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 51(207), pages 413-433.
  4. David M. Gould, 1998. "Has NAFTA changed North American trade?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q 1, pages 12-23.
  5. Mario Cimoli & Nelson Correa, 2002. "Trade Openess and Technological Gaps in Latin America: a Low Growth Trap," LEM Papers Series 2002/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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  7. A. P. Thirlwall, 2003. "Trade, the Balance of Payments and Exchange Rate Policy in Developing Countries," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2957.
  8. World Bank, 2002. "World Development Indicators 2002," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13921.
  9. Robert A. Blecker, 1996. "NAFTA, the Peso Crisis, and the Contradictions of the Mexican Economic Growth Strategy," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 1996-04, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
  10. Nora C. Lustig, 1997. "NAFTA: Setting the Record Straight," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 605-614, 08.
  11. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  12. Mortimore, Michael, 2000. "Corporate Strategies for FDI in the Context of Latin America's New Economic Model," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1611-1626, September.
  13. Ten Kate, Adriaan, 1992. "Trade liberalization and economic stabilization in Mexico: Lessons of experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 659-672, May.
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