Building Institutions for Cooperation in Querétaro, 1979–1991

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


The 1980s brought a series of economic shocks, beginning with Mexico’s historic debt default and subsequent economic crash in 1982 and continuing with its rapid trade liberalization in 1985. In response, local officials, business associations, and labor organizations in Querétaro developed effective mechanisms for coordination, which smoothed the state’s adjustment to economic hardship and laid the groundwork for a globally competitive economy. The most visible manifestation of local cooperation was the Tripartite Commission, a monthly forum for consultation and dialogue among government, business, and labor that lasted into the twenty-first century. Coordination allowed the state to implement a clear strategy to enhance productivity, build industrial infrastructure, and promote technological sophistication, a set of policies strongly influenced by Querétaro’s modernizing business associations, which were led by large, globally integrated manufacturing firms. As a result, the state economy recovered rapidly from the 1982 crisis and experienced remarkably fast growth during Mexico’s “lost decade.”


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Kahn
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Advanced International StudiesJohns Hopkins UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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