Munich Personal RePEc Archive

NAFTA and its Impact on Mexico

Aghion, Edouard (2011): NAFTA and its Impact on Mexico. Forthcoming in: Scripta, Politica et Economica (April 2012)


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The principal objective of a free trade agreement between two or more countries is to increase efficiency. As the well-known Heckscher-Ohlin (1933) theorem suggests, by going from autarky to free trade, the countries involved will tend to specialize in the production of those goods and services that each country has a comparative advantage in, and this will lead to increased efficiency and welfare. This paper analyzes how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico has created efficiency and welfare in Mexico, as it has been argued that NAFTA has been both advantageous as well as disadvantageous for Mexico. In sum, this paper investigates which particular sectors of Mexico’s economy benefitted from and were injured by NAFTA, while taking into account macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows, volume of trade, wage inequalities and education, as most studies have found the net economic effects of NAFTA on Mexico to be ambiguous.

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