The Cognitive Transition in Mexico: Economic Geography and Local Governance Impacts
19 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2008 Last revised: 9 Dec 2008
Date Written: October 21, 2008
This article shows that cognitive ability determinants include both individual and local indicators of regional macroeconomic wellbeing, publicly provided goods and private goods, through 141 localities in Mexico. The inequity impact of these various goods is quantified using a concentration index decomposition. Individual characteristics such as paternal and maternal cognitive ability, whether mother works, father's schooling and household wealth, and local characteristics including local economic activity, local public policy and local marginalization indicators, have significant impacts on these indicators of early child development. Living in a rural locality accounts for one fourth of inequities in cognitive ability. The evidence shows that there is a long-term transition towards higher levels of cognitive ability that will take several generations to converge at the current rate.
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