Mexico offers a particularly interesting study of economic reform because of its successes and its ambitious scale. As that country's current Minister of Finance and Public Credit and a distinguished economist, Pedro Aspe offers an informed, inside look at attempts to modernize Mexico's economy through the 1970s and 1980s. Aspe examines how Mexico has tried to stabilize its economy with measures such as economic deregulation, fiscal reform, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and realistic budget management. He argues that these changes have had not only profound economic effects, but social and political ones as well.
Aspe first discusses Mexico's experience with macroeconomic stabilization, emphasizing its social and political aspects, and noting the successes already achieved in terms of stabilization, production, and employment. In the extended analysis of the Mexican economy that follows, he focuses on the structural impact of state reform on the external sector, and on the efficiency and distributional impacts of fiscal reform. Such macroeconomic adjustments, Aspe points out, have resulted in the gradual replacement of the state in its role as leader of Mexico's economic development by the participation of an entire society—an achievement that is the result of the orderly negotiation and consensus of workers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and government.
Aspe concludes with a summary of the way in which all of these changes have brought about the profound transformation of Mexico's economy.