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Export-oriented Industrialization and Regional Development: A Case Study of Maquiladora Production in Yucatan, Mexico


  • James Biles


Biles J. J. (2004) Export-oriented industrialization and regional development: a case study of maquiladora production in Yucatan, Mexico, Reg. Studies 38, 519-534. This study provides a critical appraisal of export-oriented industrialization (EOI), in the guise of maquiladora production, as a regional development strategy in the case of Yucatan, Mexico. Maquiladoras are export-oriented assembly plants characterized by the labour-intensive manufacture of imported components. Traditionally, these firms have located along the US-Mexico border. However, during the past decade maquiladora production has spread to other regions of Mexico. Perhaps the most dramatic shift in maquiladora location has been experienced by the state of Yucatan where export-oriented firms now account for one-third of all manufacturing jobs and more than two-thirds of all exports. Interregional input-output analysis reveals that maquiladora production has had a positive impact on economic growth and distribution of income in both urban and rural regions of the state. However, since the EOI strategy has failed to promote significant structural change in regional economies, long-term sustainable economic development in Yucatan is unlikely.

Suggested Citation

  • James Biles, 2004. "Export-oriented Industrialization and Regional Development: A Case Study of Maquiladora Production in Yucatan, Mexico," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 517-532.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:38:y:2004:i:5:p:517-532
    DOI: 10.1080/0143116042000229294

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings & Yasuhide Okuyama & Michael Sonis, 2001. "Economic Interdependence Within the Chicago Metropolitan Area: A Miyazawa Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 195-217.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jordaan, Jacob A., 2011. "FDI, Local Sourcing, and Supportive Linkages with Domestic Suppliers: The Case of Monterrey, Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 620-632, April.
    2. Zerlentes, Becky & Hewings, Geoffrey J.D. & Weiler, Stephan, 2009. "Modeling production externalities in the maquila industry," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 822-835, January.


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