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Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico

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  • David Atkin

Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence that the growth of export manufacturing in Mexico during a period of major trade reforms, the years 1986-2000, altered the distribution of education. I use variation in the timing of factory openings across commuting zones to show that school dropout increased with local expansions in export manufacturing. The magnitudes I find suggest that for every twenty-five jobs created, one student dropped out of school at grade 9 rather than continuing through to grade 12. These effects are driven by less-skilled export-manufacturing jobs which raised the opportunity cost of schooling for students at the margin.

Suggested Citation

  • David Atkin, 2012. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 18266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18266
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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