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Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico

  • David Atkin

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 municipalities to show that school dropout increased with local expansions in export manufacturing. The magnitudes I find suggest that for every twenty jobs created, one student dropped out of school at grade 9 rather than continuing through to grade 12. These effects are driven by the least-skilled export-manufacturing jobs which raised the opportunity cost of schooling for students at the margin.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18266.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18266
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