Economic Competitiveness

Publications in this category discuss opportunities for strengthening economic ties between the United States and Mexico, innovation and development in key industries, and Mexico’s transformation into a middle class society.

Issues in this Series

A Mandate for Mexico

Lucy Conger
Mexico is at a critical juncture. The record shows that the first wave of reforms that began 30 years ago failed to deliver the desired boost to economic growth and competitiveness. The reforms now underway promise even bigger changes for the economy, particularly by opening up the long closed petroleum industry. This study offers a qualitative analysis of the deep economic reforms undertaken in Mexico during the past 30 years, the progress made and informed opinions on what is needed today to boost economic growth, enhance competitiveness and, hopefully, increase employment.

The Latin American Foreign Investment Boom: Recent Trends and the Evolution of Multilatinas

Adrián Blanco Estévez
Latin American companies have been growing in size and presence abroad, creating the phenomenon of multilatinas. With 18 multilatinas, Mexico is one of the top countries in the region in terms of FDI outflows. This paper offers a detailed analysis of factors that have driven the rise of multilatinas.

The U.S.-Mexico Border Economy in Transition

Christopher Wilson and Erik Lee
"La Economía de la Frontera México-Estados Unidos en Transición" es un amplio informe con recomendaciones destinadas a fortalecer la competitividad económica de la región fronteriza México-Estados Unidos.

Echoes of 1992: The NAFTA Negotiations and North America Now

Tom Long, CIDE
Two decades ago, Canada, Mexico, and the United States created a continental economy through the North American Free Trade Agreement. Using unpublished official Mexican documents, this paper sheds light on the negotiation process and draws important lessons for the future of North America.
Innovation in Mexico

Fostering Innovation in Mexico

Duncan Wood, Christopher Wilson, and Alejandro Garcia
How has the global economy changed, and what does it mean for innovation? How should we be thinking about innovation? What conditions are necessary for innovation to thrive? How can we attract greater investment for innovation activities? What types of government policies and regulations can strengthen innovation? How can we better integrate science and technology into practical applications? What are the barriers to innovation, and how can we overcome them? This publication summarizes the main themes of the High-Level Innovation Forum for Policymakers 2013 and highlights some lessons learned. The purpose of this paper is to aid in ongoing dialogue, the next stage of which will take place in Washington, DC in November, 2014 (The publication is available both in English and Spanish).

Three Keys to Understand the 2015 Budget Debate in Mexico

Christopher Wilson and Pedro Valenzuela
The 2015 budget debate is the first since Mexico's 2013 fiscal reform was implemented, offering an important opportunity to analyze the impact of the tax policy changes on public income, and consequently, on expenditures. Three issues—tax collection, public expenditure, and the national debt—are explored in this article, all in the context of Mexico’s structural reforms and brightening yet somewhat volatile economic prospects.

U.S.- Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums 2014

Christopher Wilson
The Mexico Institute is pleased to partner with USAID Mexico, the Council of State Governments West, the U.S. Congressional Border Caucus, and the North American Research Partnership on the “U.S.- Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums 2014.” This initiative brings together key business, government and other stakeholders to discuss the future of the U.S.-Mexico border economy with particular emphasis on four crossborder regions.

Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations

Christopher Wilson, David Biette, Andrew Finn, Duncan Wood, Kathryn Friedman, and David Shirk
At a time when nearly all of the key issues facing North America are being understood and addressed either independently by the United States, Canada and Mexico, or within the dual-bilateral framework of U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada relations, this report attempts to view these challenges and opportunities through a trilateral lens.

Educational cooperation and exchanges: An emerging issue

Duncan Wood
The Mexico Institute prepared a brief highlighting the potential for expanding student exchange and international mobility programs between the U.S. and Mexico.

Mexico Matters: Change in Mexico and Its Impact Upon the United States

Luis Rubio
The book consists of seven short chapters. The first positions Mexico as a fundamental issue for the United States. The second delves into the origins of the country’s current situation and choices. The third analyzes the conundrum of the nation’s politics. The fourth describes the process of decentralization that overtook the country in recent decades and what that entails for decision making. The fifth explores the economy, where it comes from and how it has performed, as well as its current dilemmas. The sixth examines the issue of security and its complexity. The book ends with a few thoughts on the stakes and opportunities looking toward the future.

A New Agenda with Mexico

Christopher Wilson and Andrew Selee
The depth of economic ties with Mexico, together with declines in illegal immigration and organized crime violence in Mexico, open up an opportunity for U.S. policymakers to deepen the economic relationship with Mexico and to engage Mexico more on major global issues.

Innovation and Development in Mexico: The Promising Road Ahead

Miguel Salazar
Despite the tenuous state of public security in Mexico and the impact the U.S. economic recession has had on the country, Mexico has been successful at boosting its economic performance, while at the same time demonstrating innovation in its agricultural, aerospace, automobile manufacturing and energy sectors.

Mexico: A Middle Class Society, Poor No More, Developed Not Yet

Luis de la Calle and Luis Rubio
In the updated and translated version of their latest book, renowned economic and political analysts Luis de la Calle and Luis Rubio put forth the provocative notion that Mexico has been transformed from a mostly poor to a predominantly middle class country. They document the rise of the middle class and analyze its profound implications.

Working Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico

Christopher Wilson
The report looks at the ways in which regional economic cooperation can enhance competitiveness, stimulate growth and create jobs. There is no doubt that the economies of the United States and Mexico are facing serious challenges. While some of the risk is due to external pressures, whether increasing competition from Asia or fears of crisis in Europe, much of the solution lies in strengthening regional competitiveness. The path forward, then, must be based in a clear understanding that the United States and Mexico are ultimately partners rather than competitors.
Subsidizing Inequality: Mexican Corn Policy Since NAFTA

Subsidizing Inequality: Mexican Corn Policy Since NAFTA

Jonathan Fox and Libby Haight
This study on Mexican corn policy since NAFTA was made possible thanks to a grant from the Global Development Program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and reflects collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Mexico Institute, the University of California, Santa Cruz and researchers from CIDE, the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas.

Subsidios para la desigualdad: Las políticas públicas del maíz en México a partir del libre comercio

Jonathan Fox and Libby Haight
Este estudio sobre las políticas públicas del maíz en México a partir del libre comercio ha sido posible gracias a una donativa del Programa de Desarrollo Global (Global Development Program) de la Fundación William y Flora Hewlett y expresa la colaboración entre el Instituto México del Centro Internacional Woodrow Wilson para Académicos, la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz y investigadores del Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).

Mexican Rural Development Research Reports

Jonathan Fox
This series of research reports provides additional analysis and information to complement the findings in the report: "Subsidizing Inequality: Mexican Corn Policy Since NAFTA". Esta serie de monografías da un análisis más amplio y detallado para complementar la información en el reporte: "Subsidios para la desigualdad: Las políticas públicas del maíz en México a partir del libre comercio".

La calidad de ciudadano. Past and Present.

The Nature of Citizenship in Mexico and the United States: 1776-1912

U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue

Duncan Wood and Christopher Wilson
Duncan Wood and Christopher Wilson submitted a paper to the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue in December 2013, putting forth ideas of priority areas where business leaders can engage with policy makers to take the next major step forward in integration.

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