Determinants of the Comparative Advantage and of the Performance of Mexico’s Manufacturing Exports During 1996-2005
We analyze if the pattern of comparative advantages and the recent behavior of Mexican manufacturing exports, vis-à-vis its closest competitors, are related with productivity differentials or with differences in factor endowments. The relative abundance of relatively unskilled labor in Mexico locates this country in markets where other large countries with similar factor endowments, such as China, have entered rapidly. In comparison with China and other similar competitors, the most important determinant of Mexico´s comparative advantages and export performance seems to be productivity differentials. When Mexico is compared against other relevant competitors that have been able to rise faster in the value chain, Mexican export performance also seems to reflect its relatively small endowment of human capital.
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