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External Shocks, Structural Change, and Economic Growth in Mexico 1979–2006


  • Robert A. Blecker


This paper finds that shocks to net financial inflows, world oil prices, the U.S. growth rate, and the lagged real exchange rate explain most of the fluctuations in Mexico’s annual growth since 1979. The paper also estimates how the effects of these external constraints have changed since Mexico’s liberalization policies of the late 1980s and the formation of NAFTA in 1994. Estimates of an investment function and other tests show that growth drives investment but not conversely, in the short run. Inflows of foreign direct investment have positive effects on investment, but the coefficients are small and not always significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Blecker, 2008. "External Shocks, Structural Change, and Economic Growth in Mexico 1979–2006," Working Papers 2008-04, American University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:0408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Campa, Jose Manuel & Goldberg, Linda S, 1999. "Investment, Pass-Through, and Exchange Rates: A Cross-Country Comparison," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 287-314, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Luis Miguel Galindo & Jaime Ros, 2008. "Alternatives to inflation targeting in Mexico," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 201-214.
    4. Ortiz C. Etelberto, 2005. "Profitability Trends and Cycles: Structural Change in the Mexican Economy," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 37(2), pages 215-232, June.
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    7. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of a death foretold," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 235-264, November.
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    10. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2005. "NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 332.
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    12. 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.
    13. Ebrima A Faal, 2005. "GDP Growth, Potential Output, and Output Gaps in Mexico," IMF Working Papers 05/93, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Mexico country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 079, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Isaac, Sánchez Juárez, 2011. "Una interpretación sobre el bajo crecimiento económico en México
      [One interpretation of the low economic growth in Mexico]
      ," MPRA Paper 38101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jim Stanford, 2011. "The North American Free Trade Agreement: Context, Structure and Performance," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Latin America; Mexico; external shocks; economic growth; investment; financial inflows;

    JEL classification:

    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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