Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hale Utar

Second Advisor

Murat Iyigun

Third Advisor

Wolfgang Keller


The first chapter presents a detailed description of the Mexican maquiladora industry plant level information. The main objective of the first chapter is to present a detailed description of the maquiladora plant level information that will be used in succeeding dissertation research. In addition, the first chapter is intended to serve as a guide to the sorts of information available from INEGI. In the second chapter I analyze with my co-author Hale Utar the impact of intensified competition from China on Mexican export assembly plants (maquiladoras) using plant-level panel data covering the period from 1990 to 2006. By using the WTO accession of China as a quasi-natural experiment, our difference in difference approach reveals a significant effect of Chinese competition on within plant productivity improvement of maquiladoras. We also find a positive and significant impact of the heightened competition on productivity through entry but not through exit. Although competition from China also has negative and significant impact on plants' growth, we do not find a major effect on plant exits. In the third and final chapter, I investigate the trends toward and away from feminization in the maquiladora industry. It presents analysis of women's work and earnings in Mexican export assembly plants between 1990 and 2005. This is done for eleven manufacturing industries and a service industry. The association between feminization on earnings disparities of male and female workers is also investigated. A descriptive analysis of the information shows that overall the participation of women workers in all 12 industries has dropped, while during the same period, plant skill intensity has increased. In addition, estimates indicate that female workers receive lower wages than male workers. Were the descriptive analysis of the information also shows that the earning wage gap between men and women works has increased from 1997 to 2005. This trend is observed in all 12 of the maquiladora industries.

Included in

Economics Commons