Debating deindustrialization: a comparative analysis of Brazil and Mexico
Kahkonen, David N.
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Brazil and Mexico are often studied as opposing models of neoliberal reform, yet assessments of each model suggest that the economic growth of both countries has been relatively stagnant. Many theories address possible causes of their stagnation, but the prospect of premature deindustrialization has received little attention. Could premature deindustrialization be a source of economic stagnation in Brazil and Mexico, and if so, how can these two cases help developing countries avoid potential economic pitfalls? A comparison of Brazil and Mexico’s past trade agreements, policies, and economic struggles reveals that the countries followed similar paths until neo-liberal reforms. Since opening their economies to the global markets, the two countries have followed vastly different trajectories, yet both continue to experience economic stagnation. This thesis takes a close look into each country, highlighting trends that have led each state to experience premature deindustrialization. The thesis concludes that both Brazil and Mexico have experienced premature deindustrialization, albeit in different forms and for distinctive reasons. The findings of this thesis are intended to spur further research into deindustrialization as a possible cause of economic stagnation in the two largest economies of Latin America. The results could prove helpful to developing neighbors in the region.
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