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Economic structure, productivity, and infrastructure quality in Southern Mexico

  • Uwe Deichmann
  • Marianne Fay
  • Jun Koo
  • Somik V. Lall


There are large and sustained differences in the economic performance of sub-national regions in most countries. In this paper, we examine economic structure and productivity in Southern Mexico and compare these to the rest of the country. We employ firm level data from Mexican manufacturing to test the relative importance of firm level characteristics such as human capital and technology adoption compared to external characteristics such as infrastructure quality and regulatory environment in explaining productivity differentials. We find that the economic structure of the South is considerably different from the rest of the country, with the economic landscape being dominated by micro enterprises and a relative specialization in low productivity activities. This coupled with low skill levels and fewer skill upgrading opportunities reduces the performance of Southern firms. Productivity differentials between Southern and other firms, however, only exist for micro enterprises. The econometric analysis shows that while employee training and technology adoption enhance productivity, access to markets through improvements in transport infrastructure linking urban areas also have important productivity effects. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 38 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 361-385

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Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:38:y:2004:i:3:p:361-385
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