NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?

Timothy J. Kehoe, Kim J. Ruhl

NBER Working Paper No. 16580
Issued in December 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM   ITI

Following its opening to trade and foreign investment in the mid-1980s, Mexico's economic growth has been modest at best, particularly in comparison with that of China. Comparing these countries and reviewing the literature, we conclude that the relation between openness and growth is not a simple one. Using standard trade theory, we find that Mexico has gained from trade, and by some measures, more so than China. We sketch out a theory in which developing countries can grow faster than the United States by reforming. As a country becomes richer, this sort of catch-up becomes more difficult. Absent continuing reforms, Chinese growth is likely to slow down sharply, perhaps leaving China at a level less than Mexico's real GDP per working-age person.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16580

Published: Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2010. "Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1005-27, December. citation courtesy of

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