Mexico and the United States may be neighbors, but their economies offer stark contrasts. In Mexico’s Uneven Development: The Geographical and Historical Context of Inequality, Oscar J. Martínez explores Mexico’s history to explain why Mexico remains less developed than the United States. Weaving in stories from his own experiences growing up along the U.S.-Mexico border, Martínez shows how the foundational factors of external relations, the natural environment, the structures of production and governance, natural resources, and population dynamics have all played roles in shaping the Mexican economy. This interesting and thought-provoking study clearly and convincingly explains the issues that affect Mexico's underdevelopment. It will prove invaluable to anyone studying Mexico’s past or interested in its future.

chapter |16 pages


part I|52 pages

The Mexico–U.S. Divide

chapter 1|34 pages

Divergent Pathways

chapter 2|16 pages

Affluence and Poverty

part II|112 pages


chapter 3|30 pages

The Power of Geography

chapter 4|37 pages

Landforms, Transportation, and Cities

chapter 5|24 pages

Mexico’s Fabled “Riches”

chapter 6|19 pages

People and the Economic Pie

part III|96 pages


chapter 7|25 pages

So Far, So Close

chapter 8|22 pages

Chasing Capital

chapter 9|30 pages

Legal and Illegal Trade

chapter 10|17 pages

Drugs, Liquor, Tobacco, and Migrants

chapter |12 pages


Lessons Learned