Originally published at the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Long-term growth failure, poverty, impact of U.S economy pose challenges
For Immediate Release: June 23, 2006
Contact: Mark Weisbrot 202-746-7264 cell
Dan Beeton 202-256-6116 cell
Washington, DC: In preparation for Mexico’s presidential election July 2nd, the Center for Economic and Policy Research has released an issue brief on economic issues facing the country.
The two front runners, Felipe Calderon (PAN — conservative party) and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD — left-of-center party), have offered competing views of what is needed to advance economic progress. The paper, "Mexico’s Presidential Election: Background on Economic Issues," by economist Mark Weisbrot and researcher Luis Sandoval, examines Mexico’s long-term economic problems, the challenges faced by imbalances in the U.S economy, and current Mexican government policy.
The popularity of left-of-center candidate Lopez Obrador, who is currently leading in the polls, is the latest example of Latin America’s leftward shift. The last 25 years in Latin America have seen the worst economic growth in more than a century.
Mexico’s failure is typical of the region. While the Mexican economy grew by 99% per capita GDP from 1960-1980, since 1980 it has grown by only 17 percent. Growth since NAFTA (1994) has also been only about one-third of its pre-1980 per capita rate.
"Mexico’s most important economic problem is its long-term economic growth failure. It’s the major cause of the high poverty rates and low incomes for the majority of Mexicans. Current macroeconomic and development policies need to be re-examined if Mexico is to reduce poverty," said Weisbrot.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. CEPR’s Advisory Board of Economists includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.
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