T he Mexican trade liberalization process and its net effects on employment: 1988-2004
This paper examines the direct and indirect effects of trade liberalization on employment in Mexico. First, we estimate the net effect that export and import growth has had on employment; and second, inasmuch as Mexico is a country relatively abundant in unskilled labor, we seek to verify whether the most dynamic sectors in terms of employment creation have been those expected by trade reform promoters, i.e., tradable-goods sectors such as manufacturing, where unskilled labor is used more intensively. We find that, between 1988 and 2004, the net balance of job creation by foreign trade was positive and increasing until 2000. Unskilledlabor-intensive manufactures and non-tradable goods and services (in an indirect way) sectors have been the main contributors to employment growth associated with foreign trade. The net effect of foreign trade on employment tends to be negative in skilled labor-intensive manufacturing sectors.
Volume (Year): 9 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (Julio-Diciembre)
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