Trade liberalization and employment in Mexico

The purpose of this paper is to find out whether the Mexican liberalization
process has affected the labor demand according to the neoclassical theory.
Given that in Mexico the relatively abundant factor is unskilled labor it was
expected: 1) a growth in the employment level due to a production expansion
and a growth in the labor intensity, 2) a labor reassignment between sectors,
and 3) the more dynamic sectors in labor demanding were those more
unskilled labor intensive. According to the National Account System, between
1988 and 2004 in Mexico the export growth had not a great impact on the
economic growth due to the increase of imports. Only in a few branches of
de manufacturing industry, especially the maquiladoras, had a higher level of
product employment elasticity. Labor reallocation was observed during mid
1990 decade due to a higher growth in the production of unskilled labor
intensive goods.
María del Rosario Cervantes Martínez
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