The Challenge of Inequality in Mexico

A roundtable discussion on inequality's effects on contemporary Mexico

atin America is the most unequal region in the world. Despite a decade of economic growth and poverty reduction efforts, inequality still afflicts the largest economies of the region such as Mexico. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Mexico’s GDP grew at an average rate of 6.5 percent in what became known as the “Mexican Miracle”. Yet the debt crisis that followed in the 1980s not only curtailed growth, but also initiated a series of structural reforms that led to the privatization of industries, the reduction of public expenditure, the signing of free trade agreements (such as NAFTA), and the enactment of fiscal policies to achieve macroeconomic stability and boost foreign investment. Thirty years after these neoliberal reforms, 54 million Mexicans continue to live below the poverty line and over 20 million cannot meet basic household needs. The income of the richest 10 percent is still 36 times higher than the bottom 10 percent , overwhelmingly affecting ethnic minorities, peasants, women, youth, and persons with disabilities. In this event, we will ask our panelists to reflect on the problems and challenges that inequality poses in Mexico.

Fausto Hernandez (Professor of Economics at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, and Visiting Fellow, Kellogg Institute–Notre Dame)
Guillermo Trejo (Associate Professor of Political Science, Notre Dame)
Gerardo Esquivel (Profesor at the Centro de Estudios Económicos of El Colegio de México)
Luís Felipe López-Calva (Lead Economist and Regional Poverty Advisor, The World Bank)
Moderated by Tania Islas Weinstein (University of Chicago)

This event is free and open to the public

For more information, please contact Steven Schwartz at

Presented by the Center for Latin American Studies and cosponsored by the Center for International Studies, International House, the Program on the Global Environment and the Katz Center for Mexican Studies.

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© 2015 Center for International Studies