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Mexico’s Secret Economic Boom

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Wednesday, 06 July 2011 08:26

In an article on the decline in illegal immigration from Mexico, the NYT cited a “prominent economist” as saying that Mexico’s per capita GDP had increased by more than 45 percent since 2000. This view of Mexico experiencing an economic boom is radically at odds with the official data. The IMF data show that Mexico’s per capita GDP has increased by just 10 percent since 2000, including a 4 percent increase projected for 2011. This is considerable less than per capital GDP growth in the U.S. over this period.

Comments (5)Add Comment
The prominent economist is correct.
written by AndrewDover, July 06, 2011 11:26

The data below is in US $, surely the correct way to compare the choices of a possible immigrant to the US from Mexico.

2000 10.8
2011 15.1

http://www.google.com/publicda...=en&dl=en


Why the urge to downgrade Mexico, and hype Argentina? Nafta and debt defaults?


Why not compare the countries using the SAME measure?
...
written by kharris, July 06, 2011 1:09
AD,

I am unable to make heads or tails of the figures you present. I see unlabeled data for two years, with no indication of whether they represent levels or changes, no indication of whether they represent Mexico or Argentina. Here is a presentation which is clearly labeled, drawn from official sources in each country. That presentation shows Argentine growth running far, far faster than Mexican growth. I'd be happy to consider a the data you mean to present, if you present it in a way that conveys its actual meaning.

Argentine real GDP growth:

5-year average = 9.3%, 10-year average = 5.4%

Mexican real GDP growth:

5-year average = 1.8%, 10-year average = 1.7%
AndrewDover
written by Union Member, July 06, 2011 1:44
You're question misses the point. We (NYT readers) should all be asking why the NYT would publish such an assertion without attribution? Citing a "prominent economist" serves only to cast doubt on the paper, the journalist, and the alleged economist.

It's not that the NYT doesn't know how to measure the economy of Mexico, it's that the NYT doesn't value its Readers.
UP(date) Yours
written by Union Member, July 06, 2011 2:21
Writing comments on a shakey BlackBerry, when you're supposed to be doing the work you're actually paid to do, is never easy. But the comment to Andrew Dover was originally intended as a more complicated statement on journalism, propaganda, and immigration ( both illegal and legal). Which I think is driving this story more than the GDP of Mexico.
Y-axis is " "GDP based on PPP per capita" in US DOLLARS.
written by AndrewDover, July 06, 2011 3:47
The claim was that Mexico’s per capita GDP had increased by more than 45 percent since 2000.

Dean disputed it by showing "Gross domestic product per capita, constant prices" in the national currency.

I supplied Mexican "GDP based on PPP per capita"
for the two years in thousands of dollars:
2000 10.8
2011 15.1

You need Flash for the Goggle graph, so perhaps you could not see the beautiful Y axis labeling. But you are right that I should have labeled the data I extracted from the graph.

Also over 45% is Mexican "GDP per capita, current prices" for the two years in thousands of dollars
2000 6.8
2011 10.6

My point was that when data is "is radically at odds with the official data." it matters exactly what is being measured.

In this case, it look like there is support for a claim that "Mexico’s per capita GDP had increased by more than 45 percent since 2000."


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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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