IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/16470.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why Isn't Mexico Rich?

Author

Listed:
  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

Over the last three decades, Mexico has aggressively reformed its economy, opening to foreign trade and investment, achieving fiscal discipline, and privatizing state owned enterprises. Despite these efforts, the country's economic growth has been lackluster, trailing that of many other developing nations. In this paper, I review arguments for why Mexico hasn't sustained higher rates of economic growth. The most prominent suggest that some combination of poorly functioning credit markets, distortions in the supply of non-traded inputs, and perverse incentives for informality creates a drag on productivity growth. These are factors internal to Mexico. One possible external factor is that the country has the bad luck of exporting goods that China sells, rather than goods that China buys. I assess evidence from recent literature on these arguments and suggest directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon H. Hanson, 2010. "Why Isn't Mexico Rich?," NBER Working Papers 16470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16470
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16470.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Enright, Michael J. & Scott, Edith E. & Dodwell, David, 1997. "The Hong Kong Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195903225.
    2. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    3. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann & Lorenzo Martinez, 2004. "Nafta and Mexico Less-than-Steller Performance," UCLA Economics Working Papers 833, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
    5. Arias-Vazquez, Francisco Javier & Azuara, Oliver & Bernal, Pedro & Heckman, James J. & Villarreal, Cajeme, 2010. "Policies to Promote Growth and Economic Efficiency in Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 4740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761.
    7. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2014. "Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26.
    8. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Alvaro Riascos & James A. Schmitz, 2006. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sep.
    9. Raphael Bergoeing & Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "A Decade Lost and Found: Mexico and Chile in the 1980s," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 166-205, January.
    10. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    11. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
    12. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, February.
    13. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
    14. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson, 2010. "China and the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 137-159 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Sebastian Edwards, 2009. "Latin America's Decline: A Long Historical View," NBER Working Papers 15171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Haber, Stephen H., 1991. "Industrial Concentration and the Capital Markets: A Comparative Study of Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, 1830–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 559-580, September.
    17. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
    18. Irene Brambilla & Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "China's Experience under the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) and the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC)," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 345-387 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Raphael Bergoeing & Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "A Decade Lost and Found: Mexico and Chile in the 1980s," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 166-205, January.
    20. Daniel Chiquiar & Manuel Ramos Francia, 2009. "Competitiveness and Growth of the Mexican Economy," Working Papers 2009-11, Banco de México.
    21. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    22. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
    23. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
    24. Laura Juarez, 2008. "Are Informal Workers Compensated for the Lack of Fringe Benefits? Free Health Care as an Instrument for Formality," Working Papers 0804, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    25. Robert Kaestner & Ofer Malamud, 2014. "Self-Selection and International Migration: New Evidence from Mexico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 78-91, March.
    26. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Michael King, 2012. "The Unbanked Four-Fifths: Informality and Barriers to Financial Services in Nigeria," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp411, IIIS.
    2. Andrei A Levchenko & Jing Zhang, 2013. "The Global Labor Market Impact of Emerging Giants: A Quantitative Assessment," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(3), pages 479-519, August.
    3. Rahul Giri & Enrique Seira & Kensuke Teshima, 2013. "Did trade crisis affect different exporters differently? Case of Mexico," Working Papers 1304, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    4. Carrasco, Carlos A., 2013. "El Nuevo Consenso Macroeconómico y la mediocridad del crecimiento económico en México
      [New Consensus Macroeconomics and the mediocrity of economic growth in Mexico]
      ," MPRA Paper 53391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2012. "Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 497-512.
    6. John Tsalikis & Bruce Seaton & Phillip Shepherd, 2014. "Business Ethics Index: Latin America," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 209-218, January.
    7. Filho, Irineu de Carvalho & Chamon, Marcos, 2012. "The myth of post-reform income stagnation: Evidence from Brazil and Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 368-386.
    8. Jeffrey Frankel, 2012. "What Small Countries Can Teach the World," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 97-103, April.
    9. Abramitzky, Ran & Boustan, Leah Platt & Eriksson, Katherine, 2013. "Have the poor always been less likely to migrate? Evidence from inheritance practices during the age of mass migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 2-14.
    10. Davide Gandolfi & Timothy Halliday & Raymond Robertson, 2017. "Trade, FDI, migration, and the place premium: Mexico and the United States," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 153(1), pages 1-37, February.
    11. repec:mie:wpaper:6237 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ian Coxhead & Rashesh Shrestha, 2016. "Could a Resource Export Boom Reduce Workers’ Earnings? The Labour-Market Channel in Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 185-208, May.
    13. McManus, T. Clay & Schaur, Georg, 2016. "The effects of import competition on worker health," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 160-172.
    14. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    15. Orraca Romano, Pedro Paulo, 2016. "Essays on development and labour economics for Mexico," Economics PhD Theses 0816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    16. Torre Cepeda, Leonardo E. & Ramos, Luis Fernando Colunga, 2015. "Patterns of TFP growth in Mexico: 1991–2011," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 398-420.
    17. Emilio Gutiérrez, 2013. "Air quality and infant mortality in Mexico: Evidence from variation in pollution levels caused by the usage of Small-Scale plants," Working Papers 1301, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    18. Gutiérrez, Emilio & Teshima, Kensuke, 2016. "Does household financial access facilitate law compliance? Evidence from Mexico," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 120-124.
    19. Ito, Tadashi, 2015. "On the variety of Mexico's export goods," IDE Discussion Papers 510, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    20. Torre Cepeda Leonardo E. & Colunga Ramos Luis Fernando, 2015. "Patterns of Total Factor Productivity Growth in Mexico: 1991-2011," Working Papers 2015-24, Banco de México.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16470. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.