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Globalization, Labor Income, and Poverty in Mexico

  • Gordon H. Hanson

In this paper, I examine changes in the distribution of labor income across regions of Mexico during the country's decade of globalization in the 1990's. I focus the analysis on men born in states with either high-exposure or low-exposure to globalization, as measured by the share of foreign direct investment, imports, or export assembly in state GDP. Controlling for regional differences in the distribution of observable characteristics and for initial differences in regional incomes, the distribution of labor income in high-exposure states shifted to the right relative to the distribution of income in low-exposure states. This change was primarily the result of a shift in mass in the income distribution for low-exposure states from upper-middle income earners to lower income earners. Labor income in low-exposure states fell relative to high-exposure states by 10% and the incidence of wage poverty (the fraction of wage earners whose labor income would not sustain a family of four at above-poverty consumption levels) in low-exposure states increased relative to high-exposure states by 7%.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11027.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Publication status: published as Globalization, Labor Income, and Poverty in Mexico , Gordon H. Hanson. in Globalization and Poverty , Harrison. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11027
Note: ITI
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  1. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  2. Nicita, Alessandro, 2004. "Who benefited from trade liberalization in Mexico? Measuring the effects on household welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3265, The World Bank.
  3. Orazio Attanasio & Pinelopi Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequiality in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 9830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  5. Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
  6. Hanson, G.H. & Harrison, A., 1995. "Trade, Technology and Wage Inequality," Papers 95-20, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  7. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "What explains skill upgrading in less developed countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 311-328, August.
  9. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and wage inequality in Mexico," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  10. Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S20-43, July.
  11. Jim Airola & Chinhui Juhn, 2008. "Wage Inequality in Post-Reform Mexico," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(1), pages 110-134, March.
  12. Gordon H. Hanson, 2003. "What Has Happened to Wages in Mexico since NAFTA?," NBER Working Papers 9563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard B. Freeman, 2003. "Trade Wars: The Exaggerated Impact of Trade in Economic Debate," NBER Working Papers 10000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Incomes in South Africa since the fall of Apartheid," Working Papers 536, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  17. Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-In-Differences Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Chiquiar, Daniel, 2005. "Why Mexico's regional income convergence broke down," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 257-275, June.
  19. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  20. Jere R. Behrman & Nancy Birdsall & Miguel Székely, 2003. "Economic Policy and Wage Differentials in Latin America," Working Papers 29, Center for Global Development.
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  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521296762 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Raymond Robertson, 2000. "Wage Shocks and North American Labor-Market Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 742-764, September.
  24. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. repec:rus:hseeco:121565 is not listed on IDEAS
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