Mexico's Economy

on Feb 22, 2010
Yesterday the INEGI released the GDP figures for 2009, and since it was an annus horribilis for Mexico, I thought I'd put up a couple of charts. Looking through the Banco de Información Económica I found two series of historical seasonally adjusted GDP data available:
  1. GDP in 1993 pesos going from 1980 to 2007
  2. GDP in 2003 pesos going from 1993 to 2009
I used a linear regression to combine both series, which I'm sure is wrong for some obscure technical reason only known to economists, but for a blog post I'm sure it is more than enough.
The GDP is in millions of pesos. You can clearly see why the 80s were a lost decade, and that's not even taking into account that the population of Mexico increased by more than 10 million.

To calculate the GDP per capita I had to find the data for the 1980 census and extrapolate up to 1990, the first year for which I could find population estimates from the Conapo.
The 80s sure sucked. The dot.com boom combined with the recovery from the "december mistake" probably helped Zedillo achieve the highest growth rates. And, obviously, the current president is in negative territory.

Here's what happened this decade:

That was a fall of 7.3% in GDP per capita! Sigh... another lost decade

P.S. Here's the code

Corruption indicators in Mexico

on Feb 18, 2010
As you can see there is only a slight positive correlation between the corruption index of the Mexican chapter of Transparency International and the percentage of students who cheated on the Grade 6 ENLACE test*. What I find surprising is that there is a negative correlation between GDP per capita and the percentage of cheaters in ENLACE, but only a slightly negative correlation to the corruption index of Transparency International (except perhaps for the DF). Since test scores increase with income, my best guess is that students who don't understand the test just start cheating.

As for money being the root of all evil, there's just not much evidence to support the Willie Sutton theory of Mexican Corruption. Cheating at school tests predicts corruption much better.

*A test of scholastic achievement taken by all sixth graders in Mexico