ISSN electrónico: 2007-8951
Volumen 48/ Número 189, abril-junio 2017

Towards a Political Economy of Competition: Transnational Companies

Raúl Ornelas

This paper strikes up a dialogue among three approaches to parsing competition between companies; it also examines the role in competition played by institutions, economies, and the societies involved. These interpretations provide the building blocks to enrich the political economy of competition, predicated on the exercise of power entailed by the actions companies take, in particular, the large corporations that shape the contemporary world.

Key Words: economic competition, transnational companies, global value chains, transaction costs, business theory.

Unemployment in Latin America: Labor Market Flexibility or Capital Accumulation?

Luis Fernando García, Moritz Cruz

Unemployment in Latin America fell substantially in 2000-2013, which, from the standpoint of conventional theory, would be the outcome of reforms designed to make the labor market more flexible. On the other hand, a post-keynesian perspective would maintain that a dropping unemployment rate is due to rising capital accumulation. This paper aims to determine which of these theoretical visions is supported by the empirical evidence. The panel data results suggest that capital accumulation is the variable that explains the majority of the behavior of unemployment. The policy recommendation based on this evidence is to keep investment growing via instruments that stimulate effective demand.

Key Words: Unemployment, labor market, panel data, post-keynesian theory, neoclassical theory.

Recessions in Mexico at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

Pablo Mejía Reyes, Miguel Ángel Díaz Carreño, Reyna Vergara González

This paper uses an episodic approach to contrast the causes, transmission mechanisms, and policy responses involved in Mexico’s two recent major recessions in 2001-2003 and 2008-2009 and explain their different characteristics. Both recessions were derived from speculative bubbles in specific sectors in the United States and engendered analogous episodes in the Mexican economy as a result of a high degree of integration. Even so, the former was longer due to exogenous shocks (terrorist attacks and China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO)), which exacerbated plummeting manufactures, but the latter more profound due to the effects of the credit collapse. This evidence attests to the limitations of domestic economic policy and the Mexican economy’s acute vulnerability to external shocks.

Key Words: Economic recession, economic cycles, adjustment policies, economic indicators, United States.

Financialization and the Road Sector in Mexico

José Enrique Mendoza

Financialization has transformed public spending into the guarantor of financial profit. One of the expressions of this process is the partnership between public spending and private capital, which has underpinned the securitization of public assets. In the road sector, structured financing constrains the availability of public resources, permits the emergence of new sources of profit for financial monopolistic capital, and drives up the cost of infrastructure. The objective of this paper is to analyze how public-private partnerships (ppp) operate in the Mexican road sector.

Key Words: Infrastructure, road sector, private capital, public assets, Tenango-Ixtapa de la Sal highway.

Agro in Uruguay: Ground Rent, Labor Income, and Profit

Gabriel Oyhantçabal, Martín Sanguinetti

Since 2002, the agriculture and livestock sector in Uruguay has undergone an intense transformation in the context of high commodities prices and rising foreign investment. This research studied an as-of-yet unaddressed dimension of these changes concerning their impact on income distribution to contribute to the recent literature on these matters. The distribution of income by source of remuneration (labor income, profit, and ground rent) and social class, including the State, in the period 2000-2015, was analyzed. The results show that landholders were the group whose appropriation of value increased the most. The total wage bill grew slightly, and state participation held steady in both the value of agriculture and livestock and ground rent.

Key Words: Agriculture and livestock sector, labor income, ground rent, surplus, State.

Revenue from the Extractive Industries and Copper Mining in Peru

Yuri Landa

In the framework of a weak approach to sustainability, this paper evaluates whether the revenues earned on copper mining have translated into better educational, health, and roadway infrastructure in Peru’s extractive zones, both at the district- and department-wide level, between 2004 and 2013. The results reveal that the infrastructure in places that are home to the extractive industries has indeed improved to a greater degree than in other locations, but only on a small order of magnitude. This weak effect is tied to the State’s shaky vision of sustainability and the fact that the regionalization process in Peru is still under way.

Key Words: Infrastructure, non-renewable natural resources, copper mining, inter-governmental transfers, provision of public assets.

The Dissolution of Community-Owned Lands and the Urban System in China 1990-2015

Liu Xuedong

Urbanization is an essential process to modernize an economy, and it should, in turn, fuel growth even more by transferring productive factors from traditional sectors with low productivity to more dynamic sectors, while at the same time gradually concentrating them in urban zones. In countries like China, a dual land ownership system is predominant. On the one hand, land located in rural areas is generally collectively owned and set aside for agricultural activities, and on the other, land in the cities is the property of the state and allocated to urban purposes.

Key Words: Urbanization, land ownership, urban population, cities, dissolution of community-owned lands.