Skip to main content Accessibility help

Attitudes toward Economic Reform in Mexico: The Role of Political Orientations

  • Robert R. Kaufman (a1) and Leo Zuckermann (a2)

Since the debt crisis of 1982, Mexico has experienced more than a decade of market-oriented economic reform, but research on public opinion toward reform is limited. Drawing on general findings from opinion research in the United States, this study examines how policy preferences of Mexicans are shaped by social background, judgments about the economy, and political loyalties. The effect of these variables is examined across three national surveys, conducted in 1992, 1994, and 1995. We found that favorable orientations toward the president and the ruling party were consistently the strongest predictors of preferences about reform. Furthermore, as in the United States, sociotropic evaluations of the economy outweigh “pocketbook” concerns; despite many years of reform, both expectations and retrospective judgments are important in shaping preferences, particularly since the 1994 crisis; and social background variables have limited direct influence.

Hide All
Agilar Camin, Hector 1989. Después del Milagro. Mexico City: Cal y Arena.
de Mexico, Banco. 1993. Informe Anual. Mexico City.
Bazdresch, Carlos. 1993. Auge, crisis y ajuste. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultural Economica.
Beltrán, Ulises, and Moreno, Hortensia. 1996. Los mexicanos de los noventa. Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico.
Berraeo, Nancy, with Garcia-Duran, Jose. 1994. “Spain: Dual Transition Implemented by Two Parties.” In Voting for Reform: Democracy, Political Liberalization, and Economic Adjustment, ed. Haggard, Stephan and Webb, Steven B.. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Buendia Laredo, Jorge. 1996. “Economic Reform, Public Opinion and Presidential Approval in Mexico, 1988–1993.” In Comparative Political Studies 29(October):56692, special issue, ed. Susan C. Stokes, “Public Support for Emerging Democracies.”
Centeno, Miguel Angel. 1994. Democracy within Reason. Technocratic Revolution in Mexico. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Davis, Charles L, and Coleman, Kenneth M.. 1994. “Neoliberal Economic Policies and the Potential for Electoral Change in Mexico.” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 10(Summer):341–70.
Davis, Charles L, and Langley, Ronald E.. 1995. “Presidential Popularity in a Context of Economic Crisis and Political Change: The Case of Mexico.” Studies in Comparative International Development 30(Fall):2448.
Dominguez, Jorge, and McCann, James A.. 1995. “Shaping Mexico's Electoral Arena: The Construction of Partisan Cleavages in the 1988 and 1991 National Elections.” American Political Science Review 89(March):3448.
Dominguez, Jorge, and McCann, James A.. 1996. Democratizing Mexico: Public Opinion and Electoral Choices. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Evans, Geoffrey. 1995. “Mass Political Attitudes and the Development of Market Democracy in Eastern Europe.” Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Typescript.
Fiorina, Morris P. 1981. “Short- and Long-term Effects of Economic Conditions on Individual Voting Decisions.” In Information and Democratic Processes, ed. Ferejohn, John A. and Kuklinski, James H.. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Frieden, Jeffry. 1991. Debt, Development and Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Haggard, Stephan, and Kaufman, Robert R.. 1995. The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Haggard, Stephan, and Webb, Steven B.. 1994. “Introduction.” In Voting for Reform: Democracy, Political Liberalization, and Economic Adjustment, ed. Haggard, Stephan and Webb, Steven B.. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kiewiet, Roderick D. 1983. Macroeconomics and Micropolitics. The Electoral Effects of Economic Issues. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kiewiet, Roderick D., and Rivers, Douglas. 1984. “A Retrospective of Retrospective Voting.” Political Behavior 6(4):369–93.
Kinder, Donald R. 1981. “Presidents, Prosperity, and Public Opinion.” Public Opinion Quarterly 45(Spring):121.
Kinder, Donald R., and Kiewiet, D. Roderick. 1979. “Economic Discontent and Political Behavior: The Role of Personal Grievances and Collective Economic Judgments in Congressional Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 23(August):495527.
Kinder, Donald R, and Kiewiet, D. Roderick. 1981. “Sociotropic Politics: The American Case.” British Journal of Political Science 11(April):129–45.
Kinder, Donald R, and Mebane, Walter R. Jr. 1983. “Politics and Economics in Everyday Life.” In The Political Process and Economic Change, ed. Monroe, Kirsten R.. New York: Agathon.
Kinder, Donald R., Adams, Gordon, and Gronke, Paul W.. 1989. “Economics and Politics in the 1984 American Presidential Election.” American Journal of Political Science 33(May):491515.
Lau, Richard, and Sears, David O.. 1981Cognitive Links between Economic Grievances and Political Responses.” Political Behavior 3(4):279303.
Lustig, Nora. 1992. Mexico. The Remaking of an Economy. Washington, DC: Brookings.
Lustig, Nora. 1994. “Coping with Austerity, Poverty and Inequality in Latin America,” unpublished ms. Washington, DC: Brookings.
Mercado Gasca, Lauro. 1997. “Una visita a la lealdad hacia los partidos políticos en América Latina.” Política y Gobiemo 4(Segundo Semestre):285346.
Mercado Gasca, Lauro, and Zuckermann, Leo. 1994. “La encuesta a la salida de las casillas: otro ganador en las elecciones de agosto.” Nexos 20(August):74–9.
Morely, Samuel A. 1994. “Poverty and Distribution in Latin America: Evidence from the Past and Prospects for the Future.” Inter-American Development Bank. Typescript.
Nelson, Joan M. 1992. “Poverty, Equity, and the Politics of Adjustment.” In The Politics of Economic Adjustment: International Constraints, Distributive Conflicts, and the State, ed. Haggard, Stephan and Kaufman, Robert R.. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Popkin, Samuel L. 1994. The Reasoning Voter. Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigning. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reform in Eastern Europe and Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Przeworski, Adam. 1993. “Economic Reforms, Public Opinion, and Political Institutions: Poland in the Eastern European Perspective.” In Economic Reform in New Democracies. A Social-Democratic Approach, ed. Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser, Maravall, Jose Maria, and Przeworski, Adam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Przeworski, Adam. 1996. “Public Support for Economic Reforms in Poland.” In Comparative Political Studies 29(October):520–44, special issue, ed. Susan C. Stokes, “Public Support for Emerging Democracies.”
Rosenstone, Steven J., Hansen, John Mark, and Kinder, Donald R.. 1986. “Measuring Change in Personal Economic Well-Being.” Public Opinion Quarterly 50(Summer):176–92.
Stokes, Susan C. 1996. “Economic Reform and Public Opinion in Peru, 1990–1995.” Comparative Political Studies 29(October):544–66, special issue, ed. Susan C. Stokes, “Public Support for Emerging Democracies.”
Zaller, John. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed