Growth and disparities in the Mexican regions : a study on the effects of public investment, human capital and science and technology
Mexico has experienced deep transformations in its economic model since the
beginning of the 1970s.I t has moved from an almostc losed-to-tradee conomyt o a very
open economy and one of the least guided by public sector forces. However, the
presence of wide disparities in social development and economic growth across the
Mexican states may be a serious obstacle to the further integration of the national
economyt o the free trade agreementsa nd the global economy.I n this context, the main
focus of public policies has been growth at the national level, while regional policies are
merely national policies with strong territorial implications.
This thesis studies factors that may affect the regional pattern of growth and contribute
to the debate around the need for regional polices in Mexico. The main aim of this
thesis is to examine for the Mexican regions the regional distribution of, and effects on
regional growth of, three of the main factors that have been highlighted in the standard
economic literature as determinants of growth: public investment, human capital and
science and technology. To the extent that these factors have a positive effect on
regional growth, they may be used as a central focus in a regional policy aimed at
reducing disparities between regions.
The analysis has shed some light on important issues for regional development in
Mexico and the extent to which a regional policy is needed. Although there is a positive
effect of human capital, especially of medium level education, on regional growth,
public investment seems to be allocated following more political interest than efficiency
or redistribution, while science and technology still has to develop to achieve an
important effect on growth.