IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/5122.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras

Author

Listed:
  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the increase in the relative wages of skilled workers in Mexico during the 1980s. We argue that rising wage inequality in Mexico is linked to capital inflows from abroad. The effect of these capital inflows, which correspond to an increase in outsourcing by multinationals from the United States and other Northern countries, is to shift production in Mexico towards relatively skill-intensive goods thereby increasing the relative demand for skilled labor. We study the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the share of skilled labor in total wages in Mexico using state-level data on two-digit industries from the Industrial Census for the period 1975 to 1988. We measure the state- level growth in FDI using data on the regional activities of foreign- owned assembly plants. We find that growth in FDI is positively correlated with the relative demand for skilled labor. In the regions where FDI has been most concentrated, growth in FDI can account for over 50 percent of the increase in the skilled labor share of total wages that occurred during the late 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5122
    Note: EFG ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5122.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aitken, Brian & Hanson, Gordon H. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Spillovers, foreign investment, and export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 103-132, August.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bruce A. Blonigen & Robert C. Feenstra, 1997. "Protectionist Threats and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of U.S. Trade Protection and Promotion Policies, pages 55-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Paul Krugman & Robert Lawrence, 1993. "Trade, Jobs, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 4478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Z Lawrence, 1994. "Trade, Multinationals and Labour," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Philip Lowe & Jacqueline Dwyer (ed.), International Intergration of the Australian Economy Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
    7. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Edward E. Leamer, 1992. "Wage Effects of A U.S. - Mexican Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 3991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    10. K.K.S. Dadzie, 1993. "Trade and Development Report, 1993," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 28(2-3), pages 113-129, July.
    11. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    12. Anonymous & Brandão, Antônio Salazar P., 1993. "Special Issue: Trade and Development," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(4), June.
    13. George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1993. "Foreign Competition, Market Power and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

    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:5122. 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: (). 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.