Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico
NBER Working Paper No. 18266
This paper presents empirical evidence that the growth of export manufacturing in Mexico during a period of major trade reforms, the years 1986-2000, altered the distribution of education. I use variation in the timing of factory openings across commuting zones to show that school dropout increased with local expansions in export manufacturing. The magnitudes I find suggest that for every twenty-five jobs created, one student dropped out of school at grade 9 rather than continuing through to grade 12. These effects are driven by less-skilled export-manufacturing jobs which raised the opportunity cost of schooling for students at the margin.
This paper was revised on July 30, 2015
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18266
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