NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico

David Atkin

NBER Working Paper No. 18266
Issued in August 2012
NBER Program(s):   ITI

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.

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This paper was revised on July 30, 2015

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18266

Published: David Atkin, 2016. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," American Economic Review, vol 106(8), pages 2046-2085. citation courtesy of

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