Mexico, as many other developing countries in Latin America and elsewhere, has been moving in the 1980s towards a liberalised trade regime after a long period of import-substitution.
This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalisation on the cooperative behaviour of firms located in the footwear cluster of Guadalajara. The empirical evidence shows that cooperation has increased. It also suggests that cooperation positively influences firms’ performance and together with a favourable market environment contributes to the cluster’s recovery. The study is based on the findings of field work 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.