World Development, 27(9): 1571-1585

Mexico, as many other developing countries in Latin America and elsewhere, has been moving in the 1980s toward a liberalized trade regime after a long period of import substitution. This paper analyzes the impact of trade liberalization on the cooperative behavior of shoe ®rms located in a cluster in Guadalajara. The empirical evidence shows that cooperation has increased. It also suggests that cooperation positively influences firms’ performance and together with a favorable market environment contributes to the cluster’s recovery. The study is based on ®eldwork carried out in Guadalajara in 1996. Qualitative information was collected through in-depth interviews and quantified responses came from a questionnaire survey covering a sample of 63 shoe manufacturing enterprises.

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