Globalization, Labor Income, and Poverty in Mexico
52 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2014
Date Written: January 2005
In this paper, I examine changes in the distribution of labor income across regions of Mexico during the country's decade of globalization in the 1990's. I focus the analysis on men born in states with either high-exposure or low-exposure to globalization, as measured by the share of foreign direct investment, imports, or export assembly in state GDP. Controlling for regional differences in the distribution of observable characteristics and for initial differences in regional incomes, the distribution of labor income in high-exposure states shifted to the right relative to the distribution of income in low-exposure states. This change was primarily the result of a shift in mass in the income distribution for low-exposure states from upper-middle income earners to lower income earners. Labor income in low-exposure states fell relative to high-exposure states by 10% and the incidence of wage poverty (the fraction of wage earners whose labor income would not sustain a family of four at above-poverty consumption levels) in low-exposure states increased relative to high-exposure states by 7%.
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