Trade Policies and Ethnic Discrimination in Mexico Alicia Puyana and Sandra Murillo

[Working Paper No. 03/2011]

Given that the indigenous population in Mexico is the poorest segment of its society, this paper explores how inequality has been affected by the trade liberalisation put into effect after the eruption of the debt crisis in the early eighties and the coming into force of NAFTA. The focus is on the agricultural sector for two reasons: first, the regions with the highest concentration of indigenous population are specialised in agriculture; second, agriculture has been identified as the main loser from trade liberalisation. The paper presents direct and indirect evidence on discrimination at the municipal level and concludes that trade reforms contributed to a worsening of the relative position of the indigenous people, or an increase in horizontal inequality.

03_2011  (Download the full text in PDF format)