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Place-specific Determinants of Income Gaps: New Sub-National Evidence from Chiapas, Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Ricardo Hausmann

    () (Center for International Development at Harvard University)

  • Carlo Pietrobelli
  • Miguel Angel Santos

    () (Center for International Development at Harvard University)

Abstract

The literature on income gaps between Chiapas and the rest of Mexico revolves around individual factors, such as education and ethnicity. Yet, twenty years after the Zapatista rebellion, the schooling gap between Chiapas and the other Mexican entities has shrunk while the income gap has widened, and we find no evidence indicating that Chiapas indigenes are worse-off than their likes elsewhere in Mexico. We explore a different hypothesis. Based on census data, we calculate the economic complexity index, a measure of the knowledge agglomeration embedded in the economic activities at a municipal level in Mexico. Economic complexity explains a larger fraction of the income gap than any individual factor. Our results suggest that chiapanecos are not the problem, the problem is Chiapas. These results hold when we extend our analysis to Mexico’s thirty-one federal entities, suggesting that place-specific determinants that have been overlooked in both the literature and policy, have a key role in the determination of income gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Hausmann & Carlo Pietrobelli & Miguel Angel Santos, 2018. "Place-specific Determinants of Income Gaps: New Sub-National Evidence from Chiapas, Mexico," CID Working Papers 343, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cid:wpfacu:343
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    File URL: https://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/files/growthlab/files/income_gaps_chiapas_cidfwp343.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Miguel Angel Santos & Silvio Dal Buoni & Celeste Lusetti & Elisabeth Garriga, 2015. "Piloto de Crecimiento Inclusivo en comunidades indígenas de Chiapas (Cruztón, Chamula)," CID Working Papers 65, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chiapas; Mexico; economic complexity; development policy; public-private dialogue; internal migrations;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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