Institutions and Long-Run Economic Performance in Mexico and Spain, 1800-2000

Coatsworth, John H.; Tortella Casares, Gabriel

This paper argues that institutions, policies, and events played a fundamental role in determining the economic performance of Mexico and Spain over the long run. We do not dismiss geography, factor endowments, technological change, or indeed many other variables that helped shape economic performance over time. Our main point is that historical processes exogenous to the economy determined the extent to which each nation realized its economic potential.

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June 17, 2015


Paper prepared for presentation at the XIIIth Congress of the International Economic History Association, Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2002. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the conference on "Desarrollo Económico Comparado: España y México," Mexico City, July 4 to 6, 2001.