Central to the research that went into the preparation of this monograph is the relationship between economic development and equality. To determine and characterize that relationship Morris Singer focuses on the various components of equality at different stages of development. The author particularly explores the behavior of income distribution, together with its bearing on the components of aggregate demand.
Mexico provided an excellent case to examine in depth because of its impressive growth and the fact that it experienced Latin America’s first successful twentieth-century revolution.
Although the Revolution of 1910 hastened social equality and introduced other changes that stimulated Mexico’s economic growth, it could not prevent a serious increase in the inequality of income distribution. By the early 1960s the government found it necessary to rectify this increasing imbalance through a program of expenditures designed to counteract widespread poverty and weak aggregate demand. To ward off inflation, this program in turn could be implemented only by tax reform.
In discussing the relationship between development and equality in its various dimensions, noneconomic as well as economic, this monograph points out that, at the time of this study, government policies in Mexico were dictated by an elite concerned primarily with the country’s economic advancement. Singer concludes that if programs of government expenditure and tax reform succeed in remedying the inequalities of income distribution, this could gradually make possible the development of a more genuine political as well as economic democracy.
This book reflects Singer’s interest in the relationship between equality and development. It is the result of five months of intensive in-residence study in Mexico, financed in part by a grant from the Social Science Research Council.
About the Author
Morris Singer (1921–2005) was Professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut.
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Mexico’s Record of Economic Growth
- 3. The Influence of the Revolution: I
- 4. The Influence of the Revolution: II
- 5. Income Distribution and Development
- 6. Income Distribution, Consumption, and Saving
- 7. Perspectives on Inflation
- 8. Taxation, Saving, and Consumption
- 9. Government Expenditures for Education and Welfare
- 10. Political Democracy and Economic Development
- 11. Conclusions: Income Distribution and Demand in Economic Development
- Bibliography of Sources Cited