Capital Concentration and Market Power in Mexico's Manufacturing Industry: Has Trade Liberalization Made a Difference?
Tanski, Janet M., French, Dan W., Journal of Economic Issues
"It's very sad ... We don't have a middle class in Mexico. We have the worst distribution of income in the world. We only compare with Africa." 
--Vicente Fox, President of Mexico
Mexico has long been known for its unequal distribution of income and wealth. Although several academic studies imply a tendency in the Mexican economy toward increasing concentration of wealth and growing polarization between regions, income groups, manufacturing sectors, and exporting companies vis-a-vis non-exporters (e.g., Morales et al. 1992; Dussel 1997; de la Garza Toledo 1998; Marichal 1997; Cruz Serrano 1991), few studies carry out an in-depth analysis of concentration of capital in Mexico.  Such studies could provide insight into the underlying causes of increasing income and wealth inequalities in Mexico and elsewhere. In this paper, we attempt to further contribute to the research on this topic by presenting (a) a detailed analysis of different measures of concentration and market power in Mexico's manufacturing industry and (b) an analysis of the role that trade liberalization might play with respect to the industrial and market structure of Mexico.
The first section of the paper reviews the relevant orthodox and institutionalist literature on the topic of industrial concentration. The second section analyzes concentration ratios in different Mexican manufacturing sectors and their comportment between 1970 and 1993. The third section of the paper analyzes the role of trade liberalization with respect to concentration levels. The fourth section analyzes the limitations of using the concentration ratios and offers alternative methods. These alternatives include a presentation of concentration of sales of the top conglomerates as a percentage of total gross domestic product (GDP), concentration of exports among top companies, the percentage participation of the