Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy: A Historical Perspective

Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy: A Historical Perspective

Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy: A Historical Perspective

Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy: A Historical Perspective

Synopsis

This book is the first comprehensive and systematic English-language treatment of Mexico's economic history to appear in nearly forty years. Drawing on several years of in-depth research, Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid and Jaime Ros, two of the foremost experts on the Mexican economy, examine Mexico's current development policies and problems from a historical perspective. They review long-term trends in the Mexican economy and analyze past episodes of radical shifts in development strategy and in the role of markets and the state. This book provides an overview of Mexico's economic development since Independence that compares the successive periods of stagnation and growth that alternately have characterized Mexico's economic history. It gives special attention to developments since 1940, and it presents a re-evaluation of Mexico's development policies during the State-led industrialization period from 1940 to 1982 as well as during the more recent market reform process. This reevaluation is critical of the dominant trend in economic literature and is revisionist in arguing that, in particular, the market reforms undertaken by successive Mexican governments since 1983 have not addressed the fundamental obstacles to economic growth. Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy also details the country's pioneering role in launching NAFTA, its membership in the OECD, and its radical macroeconomic reforms. Carefully argued and meticulously researched, the book presents a wide-ranging, authoritative study that not only pinpoints problems, but also suggests solutions for removing obstacles to economic stability and pointing the Mexican economy toward the road to recovery.

Excerpt

This book undertakes two tasks. First, it provides an overview of Mexico’s economic development since independence. Second, it presents a reevaluation of Mexico’s development policies during the state-led industrialization period from 1940 to 1982 and during the more recent market reform process, a reevaluation that is critical of the dominant trend in the economic literature and, indeed, revisionist. Both tasks are addressed with a common conceptual framework that compares the successive periods of stagnation and growth that have characterized Mexico’s economic development since independence. The book’s basic premise is that a historical approach may be helpful in illuminating current obstacles to economic development. It thus looks at Mexico’s present development policies and problems from a historical perspective by reviewing long-term trends in the Mexican economy and examining in particular some past episodes of radical shifts in development strategy and in the role of markets and the state.

The book has its origins in a paper published in 1994 (Moreno-Brid and Ros, 1994) on Mexico’s market reforms in a historical perspective. The paper was written in 1992 after the debt crisis and the lost decade of the 1980s were over and at a time when capital was flowing back to the Mexican economy, which was seen by many observers as a model for the rest of Latin America. Despite the fact that the worst was over, our paper expressed great skepticism about the long-term prospects for economic growth in Mexico. The reasons were that the market reforms undertaken by successive Mexican . . .

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