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Symbioses imperative and convenient: The Evolution of Crony Capitalism in Puebla, Mexico, 1920-1940


  • Paxman, Andrew


Several historians have used “crony capitalism” to label the cozy and inefficient relationships between business and political elites prevailing in Mexico since the 19th century. But it is a nebulous term, stigmatizing various behaviors not all of which are harmful to state formation or economic growth. I seek to solve this problem of conceptual vagueness by differentiating between forms of state-capital interdependence. The first, necessary to both parties at times of uncertainty, I term a “symbiotic imperative,” which operates between institutions and purports to serve the greater good. The second, involving exchanges of favors that are merely advantageous, I term “symbiotic convenience,” which tends to operate at a more interpersonal level. As a case study, I consider relations between governors and the leading industrialist William Jenkins in Puebla after the Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Paxman, Andrew, 2016. "Symbioses imperative and convenient: The Evolution of Crony Capitalism in Puebla, Mexico, 1920-1940," MPRA Paper 75271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:75271

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    crony capitalism; symbiotic imperative; symbiotic convenience; William Jenkins; Mexico; Puebla;

    JEL classification:

    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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