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Development and Growth in the Mexican EconomyAn Historical Perspective$
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Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid and Jaime Ros

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371161

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371161.001.1

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The Porfiriato and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth

The Porfiriato and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 The Porfiriato and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth
Source:
Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy
Author(s):

Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid

Jaime Ros (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371161.003.0003

Chapter 3 analyzes the Mexican economy's structural transformation and fast expansion during the Porfiriato. It argues that the achievement of political stability—through the establishment of a strong state—plus a change in development strategy and institutional modernization permitted the removal of key constraints on Mexico's economic growth starting in the 1870s. This economic and political change transformed the economy in many ways: the railway system modernized the nation's infrastructure and integrated the domestic market. Primary exports boomed and a modern manufacturing sector emerged. It shows that, however, the distribution of economic benefits was highly uneven, in particular market concentration in industry, banking, and most conspicuously land resulting from what amounted to an enclosure movement in which federal and peasant communal lands were redistributed to land development companies and rich individuals. The chapter concludes by stating that the process of increasing inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth proved to be the Achilles' heel of the regime.

Keywords:   Porfiriato, enclosure system, peonage, railway expansion, domestic market, land concentration

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