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NAFTA and its Impact on Mexico


  • Aghion, Edouard


The principal objective of a free trade agreement between two or more countries is to increase efficiency. As the well-known Heckscher-Ohlin (1933) theorem suggests, by going from autarky to free trade, the countries involved will tend to specialize in the production of those goods and services that each country has a comparative advantage in, and this will lead to increased efficiency and welfare. This paper analyzes how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico has created efficiency and welfare in Mexico, as it has been argued that NAFTA has been both advantageous as well as disadvantageous for Mexico. In sum, this paper investigates which particular sectors of Mexico’s economy benefitted from and were injured by NAFTA, while taking into account macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows, volume of trade, wage inequalities and education, as most studies have found the net economic effects of NAFTA on Mexico to be ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Aghion, Edouard, 2011. "NAFTA and its Impact on Mexico," MPRA Paper 36529, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36529

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nora Lustig, 2001. "Life Is Not Easy: Mexico's Quest for Stability and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 85-106, Winter.
    2. Fukao, Kyoji & Okubo, Toshihiro & Stern, Robert M., 2003. "An econometric analysis of trade diversion under NAFTA," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-24, March.
    3. Amaranta Melchor del Río & Susanne Thorwarth, 2006. "Tomatoes or Tomato Pickers? - Free Trade and Migration in the NAFTA Case," Working Papers 0429, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2006.
    4. Aaron Tornell & Gerardo Esquivel Hernández, 1997. "The Political Economy of Mexico's Entry into NAFTA," NBER Chapters,in: Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6, pages 25-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    7. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann & Lorenza Martínez, 2004. "NAFTA and Mexico's Economic Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 1155, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Under NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 7429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:idb:brikps:77778 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. James R. Markusen & Stephen Zahniser, 1997. "Liberalization and Incentives for Labor Migration: Theory with Applications to NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 6232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Javier Santiso, 2007. "Latin America's Political Economy of the Possible: Beyond Good Revolutionaries and Free-Marketeers," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693593, January.
    13. Louise Cord & Quentin Wodon, 2001. "Do Agricultural Programs in Mexico Alleviate Poverty? Evidence from the Ejido Sector," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 38(114), pages 239-256.
    14. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2015. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-44.
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    More about this item


    NAFTA; Mexico; growth; TFP; World Trade Organization;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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