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Corn Market Integration in Porfirian Mexico

  • DOBADO, RAFAEL
  • MARRERO, GUSTAVO A.

This paper deals with a polemic and relevant aspect of the economic history of Porfirian Mexico: the integration of agricultural domestic markets. Since corn was the staple product of the commercial agricultural sector and also the main subsistence crop, it is the protagonist of this story. Panel techniques, similar to those used by Barro and Sala-i-Martín (1992), are applied to a price convergence model. Our analysis reveals that Mexico was not an exception in the international panorama of market integration in late 19th and early 20th centuries [O’Rourke and Williamson (1999)]. Although still incomplete on the eve of the Mexican Revolution, corn market integration substantially increased during the Porfiriato and ended up further than estimated by Kuntz (1995a, 1995b, 1996, 1999a and 1999b). Railroads were not only indispensable to the economic growth of Mexico, as Coatsworth (1984) showed, in particular to the export sector, but they also played a positive and significant role in the process of corn market integration.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 103-128

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:65:y:2005:i:01:p:103-128_05
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  1. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. R. Findlay & K. H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Commodity market integration, 1500-2000," CEG Working Papers 20019, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Esquivel, Gerardo, 1999. "Convergencia regional en México, 1940-1995," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(264), pages 725-761, : octubre.
  5. Coatsworth, John H., 1979. "Indispensable Railroads in a Backward Economy: The Case of Mexico," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 939-960, December.
  6. Ejrnaes, Mette & Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2000. "Market Integration and Transport Costs in France 1825-1903: A Threshold Error Correction Approach to the Law of One Price," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 149-173, April.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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