The focus of this research is the understanding of a fundamental aspect of the Mexican agricultural sector: the evolution of land productivity and the sources behind its changes. The study takes place in a period that runs from 1990 to 2011, a period of large structural transformations in the Mexican economy. The research offers answers regarding how the sector has adapted in terms of crop selection. Results show that a large share of total agricultural land productivity changes happened due to intrinsic changes in crop productivity; while these changes have different sources, most of them were the result of changes in production patters across states. Furthermore, around one quarter of total productivity, changes resulted from a better selection of crops in terms of productivity levels.
Cite this paper
Stevens, D. (2014) Land Productivity Changes in a Trade Liberalization Environment: Mexico under NAFTA. Theoretical Economics Letters, 4, 221-231. doi: 10.4236/tel.2014.43030.
 Tornell, A., Westermann, F. and Martinez, L. (2004) NAFTA and Mexico’s Less than Stellar Performance. NBER, Working Paper 10289.
 Gordon, H.H. (2010) Why Isn’t Mexico Rich? Journal of Economic Literature, 48, 987-1004
 Kehoe. T.J. and Ruhl, K.J. (2010) Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Enough Growth. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Working Paper 16580.
 Levy, S. and van Wijnbergen, S. (1995) Transition Problems in Economic Reform: Agriculture in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The American Economic Review, 85, 738-754.
 Lewis, W.A. (1954) Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour. The Manchester School of Economic Social Studies, 22, 139-191.
 Ray, D. (1998) Development Economics.1st Edition, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
 Narro Robles, J., Navarro, D.M. and de la Fuente Stevens, D. (2013). Desafíos y descalabros de la política social en Mexico. Problemas del Desarrollo, 174, 9-34.
 Verhoogen, E.A. (2008) Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector. Quarterly Journal of Economics, CXXIII.
 Maranon, B. and Fritscher, M. (2004) La agricultura mexicana y el TLC: El desencanto neoliberal. Debate Agrario, 183-210.
 Yunez, N. (2012) The Effects of Agricultural Domestic and Trade Liberalization on Food Security: Lessons from Mexico. Working Paper. Colegio de Mexico, Colmex.
 Gomez-Oliver, L. (1996) El papel de la agricultura en el desarrollo Mexico. Revista de estudios agrarios, No. 3, (abril-junio), Procuraduría Agraria, Mexico.
 Foster, L., Haltiwanger, J.C. and Krizan, C.J. (2001) New Developments in Productivity Analysis, Chapter 8, 303-372. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, NBER.
 Bertelsman, E., Haltiwanger, J. and Scarpetta, S. (2004) Microeconomic Evidence of Creative Destruction in Industrial and Developing Countries. Discussion Paper Series IZA, No. 1374.
 Krugman, P. and Obstfeld, M. (2006) International Economics: Theory and Policy. 7th Edition, Pearson—Addison Wesley, Boston.
 Pavcnik, N. (2002) Trade Liberalization, Exit and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants. NBER, Working Paper Series.
 Helpman, E. (2004) The Mystery of Economic Growth. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
 Melitz, M. (2003) The Impact of Trade on Intra industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity. Econometrica, 71, 1695-1725.
 Jones, C.I. (1998) Introduction to Economic Growth. 2nd Edition, W. W. Norton & Company, New York,
 Matusayama, K. (1992) Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth. Journal of Economic Theory, 317-334.
 Mackinlay, H. and de la Fuente, J. (1996) La nueva legislacion rural en Mexico. Debate Agrario, 73-95.
 Dell, M. (2011) Insurgency and Long-Run Development: Lessons from the Mexican Revolution. Unpublished.
 de Janvry, A., Emerick, K., González-Navarro, M. and Sadoulet, E. (2012) Certified to Migrate: Property Rights and Migration in Rural Mexico. Unpublished.
 Yunez, N. and Taylor, E. (2006) The Effects of NAFTA and Domestic Reforms in the Agriculture of Mexico: Predictions and Facts. Region et Developpment, 161-188.
 Prina, S. (2007) Agricultural Trade Liberalization in Mexico: Impact on Border Prices and Farmers’ Income. Boston University-Department of Economics.
 Aaragon, E., Fouquet, A. and Campos, M.. (2009) The Emergence of Successful Export Activities in Mexico: Three Case Study. Inter-American Development Bank, Research Network Working Paper No-R555.
 Rodrik, D. (2004) Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.