Development Economics, Developing Migration: Targeted Economic Development Initiatives as Drivers in International Migration


This paper explores how market liberalization, privatization, and deregulation can result in low economic growth or unequally distributed economic expansion, which may lead to social inequality and new motives for emigration. Mexico's neoliberal policies and their economic and social performances are critically analyzed in comparison to variants of developmental states, where governments choose greater involvement with economic direction. Comparative analysis deepens the understanding of Mexico's economic development difficulties and how such complications impact its people and influence emigration patterns. To understand the differences in state-led or neoliberal development I utilize the example of tourism in Huatulco, Oaxaca. I seek to explain how tourism development in Mexico has not only shifted since the 1982 Debt Crisis, but how this shift, along with greater openness to foreign investment, has resulted in markedly different growth rates among tourist destinations created prior to and subsequent to 1982. Different patterns of growth and increased social inequalities have partially hampered Huatulco's development and have created new motivations for emigration. Alternate economic and political policies in Huatulco are suggested in the hopes of alleviating social inequalities and unequal growth distributions.


Sociology and Anthropology

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Mexico, migration, tourism, development statism, neoliberalism

Publication Date


Journal Title

Human Organization