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Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico


Heidi Jane M. Smith, Allyson Lucinda Benton

First published: Full publication historyDOI: 10.1111/pbaf.12155View/save citationCited by: 0 articles
  • Heidi Jane M. Smith (corresponding author) is at the Departamento de Economía [Economics Department], Universidad Iberoamericana, Prolongación Paseo de Reforma 880, Lomas de Santa Fe, México, 01219, Ciudad de México. She can be reached at
  • Allyson Lucinda Benton is at the División de Estudios Políticos [Political Studies Department], Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, AC (CIDE), Carretera México-Toluca 3655, Colonia Lomas de Santa Fé México, Ciudad de México 01210. She can be reached at


Research on subnational capital markets in developing nations has tended to focus on designing regulatory frameworks that compensate for structural economic, fiscal, and political factors. However, research on public investment in the United States shows that functional factors, like administrative capacity and metropolitan cooperation, are also important. Using a panel dataset of Mexican municipal debt (2005–2012), the study examines whether metropolitan cooperation and administrative capacity affect subnational debt decisions in this developing nation. Cross-sectional time-series analysis of different types of municipal debt (public development bank loans, private commercial bank debt, bond emissions, and trust instruments) reveals that municipalities in metropolitan areas avoid costlier credits but that they do not cooperate to access cheaper loans. The research reveals that administrative capacity plays little to no role in municipal debt decisions.


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