Liberalism in Mexican Economic Thought, Past and Present

Econ Journal Watch 13(1), January 2016: 129-167

1 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2015 Last revised: 15 Feb 2016

Date Written: July 2, 2015


I outline the development of economic and political thought in Mexico, with an emphasis on the fortunes of liberalism. Since its independence in 1821 Mexico struggled to establish background conditions — a national identity, a stable polity, a broad cultural allegiance to liberal principles, and a corresponding sense of law — that are conducive to a liberal market order. Some of the thinkers treated here emphasize the basic liberal formulas and formulations, such as individual liberty or mutual gains from voluntary exchange. Others favored statist policies to realize the background conditions and thereby arrive at a state in which liberalism can be more meaningfully advanced. I discuss the leading figures in 19th century Mexican economic and political thought, and focus in the 20th century on issues of the economics profession, reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, and disputes about ‘neoliberalism.’ Finally, I list individuals and organizations in Mexico who represent current aspiration for a more classical-liberal state.

Keywords: Classical Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Mexico

JEL Classification: A11, B00, B53, N01

Suggested Citation

Kuchař, Pavel, Liberalism in Mexican Economic Thought, Past and Present (July 2, 2015). Econ Journal Watch 13(1), January 2016: 129-167 , Available at SSRN: or

Pavel Kuchař (Contact Author)

King’s College London ( email )

London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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