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After WWII, Mexico’s economy, much like the other countries involved, got better. They went from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. After the war, Mexico also went from a closed economy to an open economy. In 1992 Mexico introduced NAFTA, North America Free Trade Agreement. Their economy slowly but surely got a lot better. Also, while the economy was getting better, so were the social issues. The population grew significantly, and the quality of life got a lot better. The number of deaths from diseases lowered. Literacy and education levels reached all-time highs.

Mexico was growing to be a great and powerful country. Before the war agriculture only was 19% of the GDP and accounted for 65% of the jobs in Mexico. In 1999, after the shift to an industrial economy, agriculture only accounted for 5% of the GDP and only 23% of the jobs. Manufacturing accounted for 88% of the GDP and also accounted for 70% of the jobs. The shift came from before the end of WWII. Mexico started to supply Allies with equipment and things needed, and because of the decrease of availability of consumer products, Mexico had to supply its own population as well.

Since the end of the war Mexico has just kept enhancing the industrial development. Mexico also switched from a closed economy to an open economy. A closed economy is when a country keeps all its goods within itself. After the war, government in Mexico tried to institute a policy to industrialize Mexico but it got rejected because people were still trying to keep the economy closed. Mexico tried to institute a policy that would encourage the manufacturers to start import substitutions. This policy would require the government to set up barriers which included tariffs etc, to the importations of trade of the same items.

In 1985, the government instead changed and decided to come up with a policy that would increase Mexican exports and decrease barriers to import into Mexico. In doing this, the NAFTA was created and instituted. After signing this agreement, Mexico made a commitment to get rid of all the trade barriers between it, Canada, and the United States by 2009. During this time, Mexico mainly just had medium size companies but NAFTA made it possible for the United States and Canada to open and set up offices in Mexico, which in the end really helped out Mexico’s economy.

While the economy got better, so did the social issues that had until recently been a problem. Mortality rates were at all-time lows. Fertility rate were very high, which according to the census of 1990, more than tripled the population from a census in the 1940’s. Also because of the new jobs from the shift to an industrial economy, Mexico went from a rural area to a heavily urban area. Because of the lack of housing available within the city, many people had to move outside of the city. After the war the number of deaths from infections, parasites and respiratory problems declined.

Also the number and percentage of people with access to running water and electricity grew rapidly. More people began to learn how to read and got better educations, which then got them better jobs, which helped out the economy even more. But things were not equal in all areas. People in southern Mexico did not have the “quality-of-life” that people who lived farther north did. People in the more urban areas did not have nearly as much access to health care as people in the north did. Also people in the south were not entitled to retirement or pension payments.

Wages in the south were substantially lower in the south. Government then had to face a harder challenge of trying to promote economic growth in the southern regions while also trying to deal with the persistence of poverty.


1. Nationsencylopedia. “Mexico-Overview of Economy. ” http://www. nationsencyclopedia. com/economies/Americas/Mexico-OVERVIEW-OF-ECONOMY. html. 2. Mongo Bay. “Mexico- The Society. ” http://www. mongabay. com/reference/country_studies/mexico/SOCIETY. html. 3. “Mexico-Economy. ” http://www. countriesquest. com/north_america/mexico/economy. htm.

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