Fifty Years of Change on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Growth, Development, and Quality of Life

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With their unique blending of culture, language, and economics, the U.S. and Mexican border regions have experienced rapid demographic and economic growth over the last fifty years. Economically, the border divides countries with one of the world's largest cross-border income gaps. In as symmetrical a manner as possible, this book studies the nature and dynamics of this growth and what it has meant to the lives of dwellers on both sides of the border.

In this analysis, Joan Anderson and James Gerber offer a new perspective on the changes and tensions pulling at the border from both sides through a discussion of cross-border economic issues and thorough analytical research that examines not only the dramatic demographic and economic growth of the region, but also shifts in living standards, the changing political climate, and environmental pressures, as well as how these affect the lives of people in the border region.

Creating what they term a Border Human Development Index, the authors rank the quality of life for every U.S. county and Mexican municipio that touches the 2,000-mile border. Using data from six U.S. and Mexican censuses, the book adeptly illustrates disparities in various aspects of economic development between the two countries over the last six decades.

Anderson and Gerber make the material accessible and compelling by drawing an evocative picture of how similar the communities on either side of the border are culturally, yet how divided they are economically. The authors bring a heightened level of in sight to border issues not just for academics but also for general readers. The book will be of particular value to individuals interested in how the borderbetween the two countries shapes the debates on quality of life, industrial growth, immigration, cross-border integration, and economic and social development.

About the Author:
Joan B. Anderson is Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego

About the Author:
James Gerber is Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor of Economics at San Diego State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292717183
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

JOAN B. ANDERSON is Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego.

JAMES GERBER is Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor of Economics at San Diego State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction: The United States-Mexico Border     1
Along the United States-Mexico Border     13
Population Growth and Migration     35
U.S. Border States and Border Relations     63
Trade, Investment, and Manufacturing     80
The Environment     103
Formal and Informal Labor     117
Income, Equity, and Poverty     139
Living Standards     161
Human Development in the Border Region     189
The Future of United States-Mexico Border Regions     209
Notes     227
References     245
Index     259
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