Robertson specializes in Latin American economic policy, particularly economic
development issues in Mexico, Central America and the U.S. As an assistant professor, he
was the top-ranked liberal arts assistant professor in economics for publishing, and his
early research was supported by a three-year Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)
grant from the National Science Foundation. He has published in the American Economic
Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, World Economy, the Journal of
International Economics, and other journals. 

Robertson's current research is supported by the World Bank, the Mellon Foundation,
and the Inter-American Development Bank. Most of his research is conducted in Mexico,
where he has lived. He can discuss a range of issues including the effects of NAFTA on
Mexico, unskilled workers and foreign investment in Mexico. 

EDUCATION: B.A., Trinity University M.S., Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin 

Robertson has been teaching at Macalester since 1999. 

Journal Articles


Is Mexico a Lumpy Country? (with Andrew B. Bernard and Peter Schott), Review of International Economics (2010)


Purchasing Power Parity and Aggregation Bias for a Developing Country: The Case of Mexico (with Anil Kumar and Donald H. Dutkowsky), Journal of Development Economics (2009)


Gravity, Bilateral Agreements, and Trade Diversion in the Americas (with Antoni Estevadeordal), Cuadernos de Economia Latin American Journal of Economics (2009)



Globalization, Wages, and the Quality of Jobs: Five Country Studies (with Drusilla Brown, Gaëlle Pierre, and Laura Sanchez-Puerta) (2009)

Contributions to Books

Is There a Business Case for Improving Labour Standards? Some Evidence from Better Factories in Cambodia (with Debra Ang, Drusilla Brown, and Rajeev Dehejia), Workers' rights and labor compliance in global supply chains : is a social label the answer? (2014)

Factory Decisions to Become Noncompliant with Labor Standards: Evidence from Better Factories Cambodia (with Drusilla Brown and Rajeev Dehejia), Towards Better Work: Understanding Labour in Apparel Global Value Chains (2013)


Teaching International Trade by Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice, International Handbook of Teaching and Learning Economics (2012)


Better Factories Cambodia – An Instrument for Improving Industrial Relations in a Transnational Context (with Arianna Rossi), Shaping Global Industrial Relations : the Impact of International Framework Agreements (2011)


Mexico: A Liberalization Leader?, The Great Recession and Import Protection: The Role of Temporary Trade Barriers (2011)

Working Papers


Mexican Employment Dynamics: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Data (with David S. Kaplan and Gabriel Martínez González), World Bank Policy Research working paper # 4433 (2007)

Using a census of all workers in private establishments in the formal sector in Mexico...



Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers From Illegal Immigration? (with Gordon Hanson and Antonio Spilimbergo), Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (2001)

In this paper, we examine the impact of enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico border on wages...