© 2019

Government-Business Relations and Regional Development in Post-Reform Mexico

  • Explains how divergent sub-national developmental institutions can arise out of national political and economic reforms.

  • Illuminates the conditions under which multinational enterprises become active proponents of developmental policies at the local level.

  • Provides a novel explanation for the uneven results of democratization and economic reform across Mexico’s states.


Part of the Latin American Political Economy book series (LAPE)

About this book


This book explores the political economy of subnational development in Mexico. Like much of Latin America, Mexico underwent market reforms and democratization in the late 20th century. In addition to transforming national institutions, these changes led to sharp political and economic divergence among Mexican states. The author offers a novel explanation for these uneven results, showing how relations between local governments and organized business gave rise to distinct subnational institutions for managing the economy. The argument is developed through a paired comparison of two states in central Mexico, Puebla, and Querétaro. This work will be of interest to students of Latin American and Mexican politics, regional development, and government-business relations.

Theodore Kahn is Visiting Scholar in the Latin American Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, USA.


Latin America Latin American Political Economy development Mexico industrialization sub-national governments

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Advanced International StudiesJohns Hopkins UniversityWashington, DCUSA

About the authors

Theodore Kahn is Visiting Scholar in the Latin American Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, USA.

Bibliographic information


“For much of the past four decades, economic growth in Mexico has been disappointing, even after controlling macroeconomic instability in the 1980s and early 1990s, and after introducing a host of reforms in later years. Within Mexico, however, one finds intriguing contrasts, with some states that have been able to set off on a dynamic economic course. Theodore Kahn takes advantage of the variation in economic performance across Mexican states to shed new light on the reasons behind the country’s low growth. In this book, the author discusses how the dynamics of government-business relations, based on a careful comparative analysis of two states, shape economic outcomes. He finds that institutional arrangements that facilitate public-private collaboration and guarantee policy continuity across political cycles is a key element of success. While Kahn’s focus is on local economic performance, the lessons he derives have a wider reach and offer a key lesson for Mexico at large and, indeed, for developing countries more broadly.” (Ernesto López-Córdova, Practice Manager for Industry Solutions, the World Bank Group, and former Head of the Economic Productivity Unit, Mexico’s Ministry of Finance, Mexico)