Can the Monkeys Leave the Export Processing Zones? Exploring the Maquiladora Bias in the Economic Complexity Index in Latin America
Sara Caria1, Miguel Carrera Troyano, Rafael Domínguez Martín

This paper shows the existing mismatches between the calculated Economic Complexity Index (ECI) values and other indicators of the level of development and economic sophistication in Latin America’s countries. The study provides evidence of the systematic differences in the ranking of countries that points to the existence of some sort of bias, and it attempts to explain the bias for countries that are systematically listed by the ECIin a rank above the one that should correspond them using other development measures. The paper proposes an explanation based on the existence of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) where products that are more complex than the average of the productive structure can be produced and exported, biasing the ECI measurement.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jeds.v5n1a3