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TRADE LIBERALIZATION AND GROWTH: Evidence from Mexican Cities

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Applying the most recent methodology for explaining economic growth differences across countries (Barro, 1997), education, learning by doing, infrastructure, and knowledge spillovers due to specialization have been considered relevant in explaining productivity growth differences in Mexican urban manufacturing (de León, 1999). In this article, I evaluated whether there is a significant change in the relevance of these variables under trade liberalization. In particular, I evaluated the hypothesis that trade liberalization would promote productivity growth in the northern cities as result of the dynamic effect of trade given that these cities are close to the new central market for Mexican manufacturing and the loss of relevance in the previous accumulated growth factors (Livas and Krugman, 1992; Hanson, 1994). In contrast to that hypothesis, I observed that urban manufacturing close to the United States did not show a better performance than the rest of the cities as expected and that accumulated growth factors, such as education, learning by doing, and infrastructure are still relevant in explaining productivity growth across urban manufacturing in Mexico.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centro Unviersitario de Ciencias Económico Administrativas (CUCEA), Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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