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El mito del gasto público deficitario en México (1934-1956)


  • Cárdenas S., Enrique

    (Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias)


It has been widely believed that Mexico’s rapid economic growth during the 1934-1956 period was only possible through an expansionary economic policy financed by inflationary means. Hence its contrast with the Stabilizing Development policy of the 1960’s, considered the golden age of rapid growth and stable prices. It is argued in this article that such perception is a myth and that the fiscal and monetary authorities were rather prudent and utilized the policy instruments then at their disposal to prevent unemployment and try to control inflationary pressures. Rather, it is the impact of external shocks, such as foreign recessions and wars, what actually explains to a large extent the high inflation which inevitably led to the currency depreciation in 1938, 1948 and 1954. The results show that an inflationary fiscal deficit was not needed to promote the long period of rapid economic growth in Mexico during the XX century.// Durante muchos años se ha considerado que el rápido crecimiento económico de México durante el periodo 1934-1956 sólo fue posible por el estímulo de una política económica expansionista que fue financiada en forma inflacionaria. De ahí el contraste con el desarrollo estabilizador de los años sesenta, que se considera la época de oro del crecimiento mexicano con estabilidad de precios. En este trabajo se argumenta que esta percepción es un mito y que las autoridades hacendarias y monetarias fueron esencialmente prudentes durante esos años, hicieron uso de los instrumentos de política a su disposición para impedir el desempleo e intentaron mantener tasas de inflación moderadas. Más bien, es el impacto de choques externos, como la recesión externa y las guerras, lo que explica en gran parte la inflación alta en ciertos periodos que llevaron, irremediablemente, a la depreciación del tipo de cambio en 1938, 1948 y 1954. Este resultado implica que la política económica no necesitó del gasto público deficitario para estimular el largo periodo de crecimiento económico mexicano del siglo XX.

Suggested Citation

  • Cárdenas S., Enrique, 2008. "El mito del gasto público deficitario en México (1934-1956)," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(300), pages 809-840, octubre-d.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:75:y:2008:i:300:p:809-840

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    México; política económica; siglo XX; crecimiento con inflación; política fiscal; política monetaria;

    JEL classification:

    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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