Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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

Paxman, Andrew (2016): Symbioses imperative and convenient: The Evolution of Crony Capitalism in Puebla, Mexico, 1920-1940.

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Abstract

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.

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