Mexico is a bit of a paradox. Its economy is the 15th-largest in the world by nominal gross domestic product ($1.06 trillion) and the 12th-largest by purchasing power parity. At first glance, these rankings seem well-suited for a country with a booming, high-value manufacturing sector and sophisticated business class. And yet, the idea of Mexico being a leader of economic growth and purchasing power contrasts sharply with its extreme poverty and dependence on subsistence farming in some places. The coexistence of these two realities raises the question: What geopolitical factors have contributed to this simultaneous development of two distinct economies in one country?
The phrase “Two Mexicos” has been used by academics, political analysts and the like to describe and discuss the economic and social disparities among Mexican states. A dual economy is not unique to Mexico; it’s a concept observed in the economies of many developing countries in whi