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


Puebla and Querétaro, two industrial states in central Mexico, have experienced dramatic economic divergence since Mexico initiated market reforms in the mid-1980s. Querétaro has enjoyed rapid growth for three decades, accompanied by economic transformation and upgrading into knowledge-intensive sectors. Puebla, by contrast, has had mediocre growth, and its GDP and exports have been highly concentrated in the automotive sector. Most explanations of regional economic divergence in Mexico point to geography and factor endowments such as human capital and infrastructure. However, Puebla and Querétaro had remarkably similar socioeconomic profiles when Mexico began to open its economy in 1985. This chapter presents this empirical puzzle, which the rest of the book address. It also previews the book’s core argument, which explains subnational economic divergence as a result of distinct patterns of interaction among local governments, business associations, and labor unions during and after Mexico’s market reforms and democratization.


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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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