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Challenging Neoliberal Myths

A Critical Look at the Mexican Experience

Martin Hart-Landsberg teaches economics at Lewis and Clark college in Portland, Oregon. He is the coauthor, with Paul Burkett, of Development, Crisis, and Class Struggle: Learning from Japan and East Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the May 2001 conference on “Workers’ Responses to Neoliberalism,” organized by the Institute for Social Sciences of GyeongSang National University, South Korea.

Representatives of the established order were unprepared for the massive 1999 demonstrations in Seattle against the World Trade Organziation (WTO) and remain on the defensive in the face of the internationally coordinated actions against neoliberal globalization that have followed. On an ideological level, they have responded by seeking to undermine the legitimacy of antiglobalization activists, especially those in the developed capitalist world, by claiming that these activists oppose the very policies and institutions that are in the best interest of the poor in the third world. One example: the former head of the WTO, Mike Moore, declared that “The people that stand outside and say they work in the interests of the poorest people…they make me want to vomit. Because the poorest people on our planet, they are ones that need us the most.”1

For the past two decades, neoliberal advocates defended their policies by arguing that they were responsible for East Asia’s rapid and sustained economic growth. They did so even though most East Asian countries followed policies radically different from those advocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Then came the 1997–1998 crisis. Almost overnight, these advocates disowned their former star performers, blaming their economic problems on the fact that their economies were hopelessly distorted by cronyism and in need of a good application of neoliberalism. While this shameless about-face allowed the defenders of neoliberal orthodoxy to avoid a critical self-evaluation, it also left them in search of new success stories.

Mexico is the heir apparent to the former model economies of East Asia. Although not long ago Mexico was encouraged to learn from East Asia, it is easy to see why neoliberals now celebrate Mexico. Recent Mexican presidents have enthusiastically embraced globalization and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) initiative. In addition, Mexico “enjoyed” five successive years of growth from 1996–2000, a period when most third world countries suffered from stagnation or outright recession.

Key to this performance has been the restructuring of the Mexican economy, best symbolized by the establishment of a new growth core rooted in the production and export of manufactures. For example, exports as a percentage of GDP rose from 15 percent in 1993 to 33.5 percent in 1999, and the share of manufactures in total exports soared from 28 percent to 85 percent over the same period.

Mexico’s “forward” looking free-trade policies are said to be one of the most important reasons for this successful restructuring. Equally important, according to its supporters, has been Mexico’s commitment to internal reform, which enabled the country to take advantage of its new trade opportunities. In the words of Jose Angel Gurria, Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit:

The reforms—which have included trade and capital account liberalization, increased private sector participation in key sectors of the economy, tax reforms, changes in labor market structure, capital market liberalization, and pension system reforms—have transformed a closed, heavily regulated economy with high government intervention into an open, market-driven economy.2

While it is true that the Mexican economy has undergone a significant restructuring, proponents of neoliberalism have tended to be highly selective in their representation of the Mexican experience (as has the Mexican government). In fact, as I argue below, the result of this restructuring has been immiserating international competitiveness, not development. Moreover, even this gain appears endangered. The 2001 U.S. recession brought Mexican growth to a halt, and foreign investors have begun moving production to lower cost locations in Asia. Thus, correctly understood, the Mexican experience actually undermines the mainstream defense of neoliberal globalization.

The Rise and Fall of State-Directed Industrialization

Mexico’s recent embrace of neoliberalism ended a fifty-year experience with state-directed industrialization dating back to the 1930s. Responding to decades of foreign domination and peasant uprisings, President Lazaro Cardenas (1934–1940) promoted land reform, nationalized key foreign assets (most importantly the railway system and the petroleum sector), and used state resources to encourage private investment in an effort to secure Mexico’s independence and modernization.

The economic role of the state continued to expand during the 1940s and 1950s.3 The Second World War and the Korean War boosted the demand for Mexico’s agricultural and mining products and the state used its new earnings to advance a wide-ranging import-substitution-industrialization strategy. However, the end of the Korean War brought lower commodity prices and rates of growth. The economy floundered for the rest of the decade, falling into outright recession in 1958–1959.

The next twelve years (from 1959 to 1970) represented the high point in Mexico’s industrial experience. This resurgence was led by a reinvigorated state effort to promote manufacturing. Using borrowed money (largely from foreign sources), the state subsidized loans; it provided the private sector with below cost, state produced industrial inputs (including petroleum, lumber and mining products, electricity, transportation, cement, and steel) and established new parastatal firms producing products such as auto parts and machine tools. It also protected the new manufacturing activity with high tariffs.

Despite its many accomplishments, the state’s postwar economic strategy was not sustainable. Because the state had sought to promote modernization in alliance with the Mexican business elite and within terms acceptable to U.S. political leaders, it refrained from taking actions that limited private sector profitability. As a result, it never developed a secure and stable source of revenue to fund its activities. More critically, it never developed a strategy to deal with the country’s worsening balance of payments situation.

Industrial production was increasingly directed towards the protected domestic market. Moreover, it remained heavily dependent on foreign technology and inputs. At the same time, the largely ignored agricultural sector was unable to generate the foreign exchange needed to cover the growing imports of consumer durables and capital goods.

The Mexican economic miracle finally came to an end in the 1970s. Balance of payments problems forced the government to recess the economy in 1971–1972, and then again in 1975–1976. But, hoping to overcome structural weaknesses and restore past growth rates, the state continued to expand its activities, including the number of parastatal firms.

Despite their previous gains from state activity, business leaders had grown uneasy about the steady growth of state power, seeing it as a potential threat to their independence. They also feared the growing labor movement that had gained strength from the long expansion. By the mid-1970s, their unease with state policy turned into opposition. They wanted the state to reduce its direct role in the economy as well as maintain slower growth in order to weaken labor activism. Angered by the state’s refusal, they “deserted” the economy. Capital flight intensified over the decade, but the government took no steps to stop it.

A rapid rise in oil prices beginning in the late 1970s allowed the state to temporarily sustain its strategy, and underwrite a new period of growth that lasted from 1978 to 1981. However, U.S. government attempts to stabilize the dollar pushed up world interest rates and triggered a global economic slowdown. The combination threw Mexico into an even more serious balance of payments crisis. In February 1982, the government was forced to devalue the peso by 78 percent. In August, it was forced to declare a temporary suspension of debt payments and ask the U.S. government for emergency assistance. It then devalued the peso again, this time by 60 percent.

Perhaps the last straw for Mexico’s business leaders came on September 1, 1982. President Lopez Portillo, in his final speech to the nation, announced the nationalization of Mexico’s banks in an effort to control capital flight. The fact that the state was willing and able to pursue stabilization at the expense of private property rights intensified business determination to pursue a new economic strategy based on neoliberal principles.

The U.S. government, taking advantage of Mexico’s request for financial assistance, demanded that the Mexican government reduce its spending, privatize state firms, and open domestic markets to foreign trade and investment. And for reasons noted above, the Mexican elite supported the demand. Having run out of room to maneuver, the state agreed to comply. Thus, it was both internal and external dynamics that led the government to break with the past and adopt a new economic strategy.

The Neoliberal Transformation

The government’s first step in the process of neoliberalization was to slash public spending, which pushed the economy into recession in 1982, 1983, and 1986. The economic contraction succeeded in generating the large trade surpluses needed to make debt payments.

Next the government launched a major privatization program. In 1984, the state controlled 1,212 firms and entities. By December 1988, the number had been reduced to 448.

In the middle of the decade the government began dropping trade restrictions in order to cheapen imported inputs and promote export-oriented growth. It also joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). As tariffs were reduced and import licenses were eliminated, many manufacturing firms (especially domestically oriented ones) were driven into bankruptcy.

In 1989, still in need of foreign exchange and hoping to finalize yet another U.S-led financial bailout, the government initiated a sweeping liberalization of its foreign investment regulations. It revoked measures that had blocked majority foreign ownership and opened areas that had previously been off-limits to foreign investors.

Finally, in 1990, Mexican President Carlos Salinas sought and won U.S. President George Bush’s support for an agreement to promote Mexican-U.S. economic integration. The result was the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Both U.S. and Mexican business leaders celebrated NAFTA for much the same reason: they saw it “locking in” the neoliberal policy transformation of the previous decade.

Mexican workers paid a heavy price for their government’s embrace of neoliberalism. Real wages fell by approximately 30 percent over the decade of the 1980s. The same cannot be said of Mexico’s elite who enjoyed many opportunities to benefit from the new policies. Thanks to Mexico’s currency devaluations, they were able to make a financial killing by repatriating their funds. They also benefited from the government’s privatization program, in which state firms were offered to them at attractive prices.

The Neoliberal Era

Given the extent of Mexico’s neoliberal economic transformation, it is easy to see why neoliberal advocates were quick to take credit for the country’s growth over the years 1989 to 1994. In point of fact, this growth was largely fueled by a massive inflow of money from outside the country and came to a sudden halt when the process reversed.

Between 1990 and 1993, approximately $91 billion flowed into Mexico, a total equal to almost one fifth of all net inflows to developing countries. Significantly, even with this massive inflow, the country’s growth began slowing in 1992. Ominously, trade and current account deficits ballooned despite the slowdown in economic activity. The trade deficit rose from $0.9 billion in 1990 to $18.5 billion in 1994. The current account deficit grew from 2.8 percent of GDP to 7 percent over the same period. The rapid growth in, and size of, these deficits is largely explained by the destructive impact of the past decade’s neoliberal policies on Mexico’s national economic base.

Mainstream economists largely dismissed concerns about Mexico’s increasing dependence on foreign funds, but they were wrong to do so. In response to a rise in U.S. interest rates and Mexican political instability (which was intensified by the Zapatista struggle), foreign investors began pulling their money out of the country in early 1994. The Mexican government tried to stem the outflow by selling dollar denominated bonds and raising interest rates, but its efforts were unsuccessful. Nearly out of reserves, the government was forced to let the peso float in late December. Its rapid fall only intensified the ongoing capital flight. The economy collapsed in 1995: GDP fell by 6.2 percent and wages fell by 25 percent.

This collapse had a major impact on the ownership and productive structure of the Mexican economy. Mexican businesses had borrowed heavily to purchase newly privatized banks, mines, the telephone company, and other enterprises. But with interest rates rising to more than 100 percent in early 1995, many companies found it impossible to survive. Most reluctantly sold off large shares of their operations to eager foreign buyers. The devaluation and low wages, in concert with NAFTA, also encouraged many foreign firms, especially from the United States, to undertake new export-oriented investments.

Altogether, foreign direct investment in Mexico exploded from a level of approximately $2–3 billion a year in the 1980s to an average of almost $11 billion a year from 1994 to 1999. As a result, not only did the economy become more export oriented, it also became increasingly dominated by U.S. foreign capital. The percentage of exports produced by multinationals rose from 56.5 in 1993 to 64.2 in 1998, and the percentage of exports sold to the U.S. rose from 79.3 to 88.2 over the same period.

It is this “new,” export oriented, multinational dominated economy, and its post-1995 growth record, that mainstream economists celebrate when they argue for the superiority of neoliberal globalization. However, a more critical examination of the Mexican experience highlights the fact that this new regime has generated few benefits for working people in Mexico.

Trends in manufacturing value added provide one indicator of this sad reality. Despite Mexico’s rapid growth in the production of manufactured exports, the country’s manufacturing value added has remained generally unchanged over the decade of the 1990s. The reason is that the government’s neoliberal policies have largely hollowed out the country’s domestic industrial base and the new exports are heavily and increasingly dependent on manufactured imports.

Labor market trends highlight the human costs of this outcome. From 1991–1998, the percentage of urban workers employed for wages fell from 73.9 to 61.2. Over the same period, the percentage of unpaid workers rose from 4.6 to 12, and the percentage of self-employed increased from 16.6 to 22.8. Moreover, over the same period, wage workers and self-employed workers suffered massive declines in average hourly income, 26.6 percent and 49.6 percent respectively. While wages did rise in 1999 and 2000, average earnings still remained below 1994 levels. And, because of Mexico’s recession, these wages once again began falling in 2001.

The Mexican Experience Revisited

The best way to understand why Mexico’s working people have not benefited from their country’s recent growth is to study the operation of the country’s most dynamic exporters. These include the maquiladoras, foreign export platforms, and large private national exporters.

Maquiladoras: Maquiladoras are registered foreign-owned manufacturing firms (most of which operate along the U.S.-Mexican border) that are allowed to import inputs duty free because they export their entire output. In line with Mexico’s changing economic strategy, maquiladoras became increasingly central to the Mexican economy. Their exports grew by 17–20 percent a year from 1990 to 1997, with their share of total exports rising from 33.1 percent to 40.9 percent. Their share of total foreign direct investment rose from 6 percent in 1994 to 26 percent in 1999. By 2000, they were producing 47 percent of all exports and 54 percent of all manufactured exports.

This increase in economic activity was accompanied by a rapid increase in maquiladora employment, from 420,000 in 1990 to 1.3 million in 2000. This growth has taken place in the context of an overall decline in non-maquiladora manufacturing employment. Reflecting the austerity and market openings of the 1980s and mid-1990s, non-maquiladora manufacturing employment fell from 2.6 million in 1981 to 2.2 million in 1997.

While the maquiladoras have been celebrated by mainstream economists for anchoring Mexico’s economic transformation, Mexican workers have not benefited from the accompanying shift away from non-maquiladora production. Maquiladora workers receive wages considerably below those paid to non-maquiladora manufacturing workers. In 1994, average maquiladora wages were only 47 percent of non-maquiladora manufacturing wages. While the gap narrowed over the remainder of the decade, closing to approximately 80 percent, this trend did not represent an improvement for maquiladora workers. Rather, it was caused by non-maquiladora manufacturing wages falling at a faster rate than maquila wages.

Maquiladora working conditions also remain poor. Turnover rates average between 15 percent and 25 percent of the labor force per month. The average work-life of a maquila worker is only ten years because of injuries, health problems, and the firing of women workers who become pregnant.

The problems with the maquiladora-based development process extend beyond wages and working conditions. As the New York Times explained:

All along the border, the land, the water, and the air are thick with industrial and human waste. The National Water Commission reports that the towns and cities, strapped for funds, can adequately treat less than 35 percent of the sewage generated daily. About 12 percent of the people living on the border have no reliable access to clean water. Nearly a third live in homes that are not connected to sewage systems. Only about half the streets are paved.4

Moreover, the maquiladoras continue to function as an enclave with few connections to the broader Mexican economy. Over 97 percent of their nonlabor inputs are imported from outside Mexico.

Foreign Export Platforms: Many foreign producers of manufactured exports did not go through the legal procedures required to register as maquiladoras. In most cases, their original investments were oriented towards the domestic market and/or their operations made significant use of local inputs. However, as a result of NAFTA and declines in the peso and Mexican wages, they have found it profitable to convert their operations into export platforms. While these foreign owned export platforms trail the maquiladoras in overall dollar value of exports, their share of total exports rose from 19 percent in 1993 to 26 percent in 1996.

Five foreign auto producers (GM, Ford, VW, Daimler-Chrysler, and Nissan) dominate this group. By the mid-1990s, they accounted for some 80 percent of foreign platform exports. In fact, the Mexican subsidiaries of GM, Ford, VW, and Daimler-Chrysler are the leading export companies in the country.

There are those who argue that the growth of the auto sector represents the leading edge of Mexico’s transformation into a high-value-added producer of internationally competitive products. Some of the auto plants established in Mexico are indeed state of the art. However there is little evidence that these plants have made any significant contribution to worker well-being or the industrial upgrading of the Mexican economy.

Despite the fact the many of these modern auto plants have productivity levels comparable with those in the United States or Japan, Mexican workers receive wages far below their American and Japanese counterparts. In 1994, for example, General Motors paid its U.S. workers $19 an hour and its Mexican workers $1.54. Moreover, while productivity in the Mexican auto sector rose by 10.3 percent from 1994 to 1999, auto sector wages fell by 20 percent.

Although low wages led to numerous strike actions, corporations have resisted any improvements. In fact, according to a senior level manager at a U.S.-owned Mexican assembly and stamping plant, “It is the policy [of the parent company] and I guess of most every other company that does multinational business, to pay only at the prevailing wage of the area that they are in.”5 This statement is especially revealing since most state of the art plants were deliberately located in agricultural areas where wages were low.

Broader technological gains have also been limited. For example, the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean reports that the “Mexican automotive industry is focused essentially on the North American market, is dominated by foreign companies and has limited national linkages”6

National Exporters: A number of Mexican-owned manufacturing firms, primarily the largest, have also become increasingly export oriented. And, like the foreign export platforms, their export orientation was largely motivated by Mexico’s post-1994 peso and wage collapse. Thus, the top thirty-four exporters increased their foreign-to-total sales ratio from an average of 12 percent over the years 1990–1994 to an average of 24.7 percent over the years 1995–1997.

Mexico’s dominant national exporters have also established few linkages with other domestic firms. According to one scholar:

It is true that the major Mexican private exporters are still in the process of productive restructuring and have not yet reached a level of exports sufficient to offset the avalanche of imports that came with the economic opening. It is nevertheless troubling that the more than 13 years of decrees and programs designed to stimulate exports have not produced productive-export linkages sufficient to integrate many smaller firms into the new conditions of national and international competition.7

And, as these firms consolidate their export orientation and relationships with foreign producers, they are becoming increasingly hostile to national initiatives designed to boost the health of the broader national economy, including wages.

Export production by the maquiladoras, foreign export platforms and large national exporters has brought few if any benefits to Mexican workers because, as noted above, their operations have been promoted and sustained at the expense of the broader national economy. Even the World Bank has been forced to acknowledge that the Mexican growth strategy has produced a divided and disarticulated economy:

The productive sector continues to be characterized by a dual structure that seems to have become increasingly differentiated in the wake of trade liberalization and the banking crisis of the 1990s. On the one side is a dynamic export sector made up of internationally competitive firms, including the maquiladoras, and on the other is a less efficient domestic-market-oriented sector dominated by microenterprises and small- and medium-scale firms.8

This outcome has been actively encouraged by government policy. First, the government has done little to force or encourage exporters to create “productive linkages” with domestic firms. This is not accidental; Mexican policy makers seek to attract foreign export producers by giving them maximum freedom to organize production as they see fit.

Second, the low wages paid to export workers, especially by the maquiladoras, continues to undermine domestic purchasing power and ensure that domestically oriented producers face limited markets. Again, these low wages are not an unintended consequence of government policy; the government has pursued a low wage policy precisely to ensure the profitability and expansion of the export sector.

Third, the collapse of the Mexican banking system has effectively limited the ability of domestically oriented producers, especially small and medium sized ones, to obtain needed funds for investment. The re-privatization of Mexico’s banks in 1991–1992 left the system under the control of leading Mexican business groups who engaged in a reckless funding of highly speculative and unstable activities. The 1994–1995 crisis brought an end to this activity, but left the Mexican banking system with a number of serious problems, including a “bad loan” portfolio equal to approximately 20 percent of the country’s GDP. The result, according to the World Bank, is that,

bank lending to the private sector has fallen since 1994 by about 40 percent in real terms, consumer credit by private banks all but disappeared…and the productive private sector itself became bifurcated between large, export-oriented corporations that can access foreign finance, and cash-constrained relatively smaller firms catering to the domestic market.9

Foreign capital was quick to take advantage of Mexico’s banking crisis. With the Mexican government’s encouragement, foreign investors began taking over Mexico’s main banks. By mid-2001, foreign-owned banks controlled more than 70 percent of the assets in Mexico’s banking system. It is highly doubtful that this foreign takeover will lead to new lending policies promoting the interests of domestically oriented producers.

Finally, even if one were willing to overlook the high cost and imbalances associated with Mexico’s export strategy, there is reason to question whether it can be sustained. As a result of the U.S. downturn, the Mexican economy contracted by 1.4 percent in 2001. Maquiladora production fell by 9.2 percent and maquila employment declined by some 20 percent. These declines have been widespread; even high-tech border production has suffered.

More importantly, many business analysts predict that Mexico’s maquiladora sector will not regain its past dynamism even when the American economy recovers. According to Business Week, although Mexican wages “fell sharply in the age of the 1994 peso devaluation, wages in Mexico have been rising faster than inflation for the past two years. And since the peso has strengthened almost 5% against the dollar since January [2001], Mexico-based exporters are seeing local production costs increase.”10

Growing numbers of these exporters have responded to this situation by shifting their production to Asia, and especially China. As The Economist explains, “While the average labor cost for assembly plants in Mexico is now around $2 an hour, China’s figure is 22 cents. Although plants in Mexico are more sophisticated, the country has failed to develop a network of local suppliers that would make it hard for manufacturers to leave as the Chinese catch up.”11

So, even though Mexican wages still remain below their 1994 level, businesses in Mexico see the recent wage increase as unacceptable because there are other countries where workers will work for lower wages. This is a no-win situation for workers in Mexico as well as in Asia. It also makes crystal clear that neoliberalism is much more an ideological cover for a competitive race to the bottom than it is an economic approach capable of advancing a process of human development.

Alternatives to Neoliberalism

Progressive economists in Mexico are well aware that neoliberalism has been a disaster for Mexico. However for many, their rejection of neoliberalism has not been extended to a rejection of capitalism. In other words, they believe that there are capitalist alternatives to neoliberalism that are capable of promoting Mexican development.

To a large extent, such thinking represents a continuing belief in the legacy of the Mexican revolution and the 1930s Cardenas government. This belief in the viability of state-directed capitalist development has been sustained, despite its failure in Mexico, in large part because of the past successes of East Asian countries, especially South Korea and Taiwan.

For example, Alejandro Nadal, the director of the Science, Technology, and Development Program at El Colegio de Mexico notes that:

Mexico has adopted policies that do not guarantee increasing competitiveness through a stronger technological base. Rapidly and indiscriminately liberalizing trade, running balanced budgets that restrict investment in education and R&D, privatizing strategic industries (such as petrochemicals), and getting rid of policy instruments such as the use of the federal government’s purchasing power and performance requirements which build backward and forward linkages does not appear to be the best strategy to develop a healthy competitive base. The experience of countries like Taiwan and the Republic of Korea is almost 100 percent counter to this set of policies. Or to put it in other terms, Mexico is following exactly the opposite strategy these countries implemented in the last 40 years.12

While this criticism of Mexico’s past economic policies is sound, the implied conclusion that Mexico could achieve development by adopting the South Korean or Taiwanese state-directed growth strategy is seriously flawed.13 First, one cannot simply replicate another country’s experience. State power in South Korea and Taiwan came out of a complex history, not a set of agreed upon policies.

Second, East Asian growth came at high expense in terms of civil liberties, human and workplace rights, and the environment. The East Asian experience, while demonstrating that neoliberalism has little to offer third world countries, should not be romanticized; it offers no models.

Third, the East Asian strategy is itself in crisis. This strategy worked well when states dominated their respective national political economies, there were few international competitors, and U.S. and Japanese government policies were supportive. Eventually labor resistance, regional overproduction, and a change in U.S. and Japanese policies undermined it, leading to the crisis of 1997–1998.

Taking advantage of this crisis, the U.S. government, with the assistance of the IMF and in some cases East Asian capitalists, has been increasingly successful in weakening the power of East Asian states and forcing open East Asian markets to foreign trade and investment. Ironically, in light of the true nature of the Mexican experience, this process is defended by mainstream economists who argue that since neoliberal policies benefited Mexican workers, they can also be expected to benefit East Asian workers.

As the Bush administration seeks to win popular support for the Free Trade Area of the Americas and new WTO initiatives, we can expect to hear more about the Mexican “success” story (or perhaps that of some other newly chosen “miracle” country if conditions get bad enough in Mexico). One way to blunt this offensive is to help people see through the distortions and lies surrounding such claims.

At the same time, we must also help people see that the answer to contemporary development problems is not the revitalization of the state-directed growth strategies of the past. These strategies, whether in Mexico or East Asia, suffered from their own serious contradictions that helped pave the way for current globalization dynamics. The major obstacle to development is capitalism itself, and our efforts must be directed towards advancing new visions of democratic and sustainable development.


  1. Andrea Hopkins, “WTO Chief: Seattle Protestors Make Me Sick,” Independent/UK, February 6, 2001.
  2. Jose Angel Gurria, “Mexico: Recent Developments, Structural Reforms and Future Challenges,” Finance and Development 37, No. 1 (March 2000), 24.
  3. For a more complete history of Mexican development policy see James M. Cypher, State and Capital in Mexico, Development Policy Since 1940, (Boulder Colorado: Westview Press, 1990).
  4. Ginger Thompson, “Chasing Mexico’s Dream into Squalor,” New York Times, February 11, 2001.
  5. Harley Shaiken, “Advanced Manufacturing and Mexico: A New International Division of Labor?,” Latin American Research Review 29, No. 2 (1994), 58.
  6. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 1999 (Chile: United Nations, 2000), 110.
  7. Jorge Basave Kunhardt, “Accomplishments and Limitations of the Mexican Export Project,” translated by Enrique C. Ochoa, Latin American Perspectives 28, No. 3 (May 2001), 43.
  8. Richard Clifford, “Growth and Competitiveness” in Mexico: A Comprehensive Development Agenda for the New Era, Marcelo M. Giugale, Oliver Lafourcade, and Vinh H. Nguyen, editors,(Washington D.C.: The World Bank, 2001), 67.
  9. Marcelo M. Giugale, “A Comprehensive Development Agenda for the New Era,” in Ibid., 9.
  10. Geri Smith, “Is the Magic Starting to Fade?,” Business Week, August 6, 2001, 42.
  11. The Economist, “Mexico’s Border Region: Opportunity Lost, February 16. 2002, 36.
  12. James M. Cypher, “Developing Disarticulation Within the Mexican Economy,” Latin American Perspectives 28, No. 3 (May 2001), 19.
  13. For a more complete discussion of the East Asian experience, see Martin Hart-Landsberg, Rush to Development: Economic Change and Political Struggle in South Korea (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1993), and Paul Burkett and Martin Hart-Landsberg, Development, Crisis, and Class Struggle: Learning from Japan and East Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

2002, Volume 54, Issue 07 (December)
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