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Mexico and Export-Led Growth: The Porfirian Period Revisited

Luis Catão ()

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 1998, vol. 22, issue 1, 59-78

Abstract: This paper examines Mexico's development experience during the 'golden age' of export-led growth in Latin America. Propelled by liberal reforms under the Porfirio Diaz regime (1877-1910), Mexico's exports expanded at unprecedented rates and this is widely believed to have brought about rapid growth and far-reaching structural changes to the domestic economy. This paper questions this view. Using a new and more comprehensive data set, it argues that buoyant export performance had relatively little impact on key macroeconomic and sectoral indicators. The pre-1911 Mexican experience is thus shown to be quite distinct from that of other large primary producing countries such as Argentina and Canada, where rapid economic growth was largely export-led. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1998
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