Economic behavior of indigenous peoples: the Mexican case

Authors

  • Juan Carlos Pérez Velasco Pavón

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1007/s40503-014-0012-4

Keywords:

Cultural trails, Tradition, Microeconomic behavior, Firm behavior, Trade, Economic growth

Abstract

Indigenous peoples have three features in common: their historical heritage, their current culture and their extreme poverty. This paper presents a hypothesis about the development of a cultural factor: indigenous people prefer to work on a small scale. This cultural factor developed during the colonial period and remains a part of current indigenous culture. To test the hypothesis, I elaborated a trade model and an economic growth model that take into account the cultural factor. As predicted, the results help to explain indigenous peoples’ poverty. This article includes empirical evidence about Mexico’s indigenous population.

References

Acemoglu D (2009) Introduction to modern economic growth. Princeton University Press, Princeton

Acosta Márquez E (2007) Zapotecos del Istmo de Tehuantepec: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Altman M (2001) Culture, human agency and economic theory: culture as a determinant of material welfare. J Soc-Econ 30:379–391

Anderson T, Parker DP (2009) Economic development lessons from and for North American Indian economies. Aust J Agric Resour Econ 53:105–127

Anderson R, Dana LP, Dana TE (2006) Indigenous land rights, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Canada: “opting-in” to the global economy. J World Bus 41(1):45–55

Argueta A (1995) Los Purépechas, Etnografía Contemporánea de los Pueblos Indígenas de México. INI, México

Bailon (1999) Pueblos indios, élites y territorio. Sistemas de dominio regional en el sur de México: una historia política de Oaxaca. Colegio de México, México

Báez L (2004) Nahuas de la Sierra Norte de Puebla: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Barrientos López G (2004) Otomíes del Estado de México: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Barro RJ, Sala-i-Martin X (2004) Economic growth, 2nd edn. MIT Press, Cambridge

Basauri C (1940) La Población indígena de México, Vols I, II, III. Secretaría de Educación Pública, Mexico

Beck T, Demirguc-Kunt A, Laeven L, Levine R (2008) Finance, firm size, and growth. J Money Credit Bank 40(7):1379–1405

Benz M, Frey B (2003) The value of autonomy: evidence from the self-employed in 23 countries. Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working paper 173, University of Zurich

Benz M, Frey B (2006) Being independent is a great thing: subjective evaluations of self-employment and hierarchy. Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich

Bisin A, Verdier T (2000) “Beyond the melting pot”: cultural transmission, marriage, and the evolution of ethnic and religious traits. Q J Econ 115(3):955–988

Bisin A, Verdier T (2001) The economics of cultural transmission and the dynamics of preferences. J Econ Theory 97(2):298–319

Blanchflower D, Oswald A (1998) What makes an entrepreneur? J Labor Econ 16(1):26–60

Bloch M, Guggenheim S (1981) Compadrazgo, baptism and the symbolism of a second birth. Man NS 16(3):376–386

Blum U, Dudley L (2001) Religion and economic growth; was Weber right? J Evol Econ 11:207–230

Borjas G, Bronars J, Stephen G (1989) Consumer discrimination and self-employment. J Pol Econ 97(3):581–605

Cabral L, Mata J (2003) On the evolution of the firm size distribution: facts and theory. Am Econ Rev 93(4):1075–1090

Canbäck S (1997) Limits of firm size: literature survey and hypotheses based on transaction cost economics. Working Paper, Henley Management College, Brunel University

Cancian F (1989) The economic behavior of the peasant communities. In: Plattner S (ed) Economic anthropology. Stanford University Press, Redwood city

Carrasco P (1977) La sociedad mexicana antes de la conquista. In: Cosío Villegas D (ed) Historia general de México. El Colegio de México, Mexico

Carreón Flores JE (2007) Nahuas de Texcoco: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Carrier J (2005) Introduction. In: Carrier J (ed) Handbook of economic anthropology. Edward Elgar Publishing Inc., Northampton

Chambers E, Young P (1979) Mesoamerican community studies: the past decade. Ann Rev Anthropol 8:45–69

Chan M (2008) Indigenous entrepreneurship, culture and micro-enterprise in the Pacific Islands: case studies from Samoa. Entrepren Reg Dev 20:1–18

Chance JK, Taylor WB (1985) Cofradías and cargos: an historical perspective on the Mesoamerican civil-religious hierarchy. Am Ethnol 12(1):1–26

Clark G (1994) Factory discipline. J Econ Hist 54(1):128–163

Clark K, Drinkwater S, Leslie D (1998) Ethnicity and self-employment earnings in Britain 1973–95. Appl Econ Lett 5:631–634

Cornell S, Kalt JP (2000) Where’s the glue? Institutional and cultural foundations of American Indian economic development. J Soc-Econ 29:443–470

Coronel Ortiz D (2006) Zapotecos de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Coy P (1974) An Elementary structure of ritual kinship: a case of prescription in the compadrazgo. Man N S 9(3):470–479

Dessí R (2008) Collective memory, cultural transmission, and investments. Am Econ Rev 98(1):534–560

Dixit A, Norman V (2002) Theory of international trade. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Dixit A, Stiglitz J (1977) Monopolistic competition and optimum product diversity. Am Econ Rev 67(3):297–308

Doepke M, Zilibotti F (2014) Culture, entrepreneurship and growth. In: Aghion P, Durlauf S (eds) Handbook of economic growth, vol 2A. North Holland, Amsterdam

Dow G, Putterman L (2000) Why capital suppliers (usually) hire workers: what we know and what we need to know. J Econ Behav Organ 43:319–336

Durston J (1992) Organización social de los mercados campesinos en el centro de Michoacán. Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, México

Esperanza IF (2007) Nahuas de la montaña: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Feenstra R (2004) Advanced international trade; theory and evidence. Princeton University Press, Princeton

Fehr E, Gächter S (2000) Cooperation and punishment in public goods experiments. Am Econ Rev 90(4):980–994

Flores López JM (2006) Chontales de Tabasco: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Gallardo Arias P (2004) Huastecos de San Luis Potosí: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

García Martínez B (1977) La creación de Nueva España. In: Cosío Villegas D (ed) Historia general de México. El Colegio de México, México

García JA, Martínez Sánchez NE (2007) Ch’oles: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Gelles R, Levine A (1995) Sociology: an introduction. McGraw-Hill, New York

Georgellis Y, Sessions J, Tsitsianis N (2005) Self-employment longitudinal dynamics; a review of the literature. Econ Issu 10(2):51–84

Getinet Astatike H (2008) Determinants of self-employment in urban Ethiopia: panel data based evidence. Discussion Paper, Policy Studies Institute

Gibson C (1964) The Aztecs under Spanish rule: a history of the Indians of the valley of Mexico, 1519-1810. Stanford University Press, Redwood city

Gómez Muñoz M (2004) Tzeltales: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Gonzalez L (1996) El indio en la era liberal. Clio, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico

Gorodnichenko Y, Roland G (2010) Culture, institutions and the wealth of nations. WP 16368, NBER

Greenberg JB (1981) Santiago’s sword. University of California Press, Berkeley

Habyarimana J, Humphreys M, Posner DN, Weinstein JM (2007) Why does ethnic diversity undermine public goods provision? Am Politic Sci Rev 101(4):709–725

Hai-Anh D (2010) Vietnam. A widening poverty gap for ethnic minorities. In: Hall G, Patrinos H (eds) Indigenous peoples, poverty and development. World Bank, Washington, DC

Hall G, Patrinos H (2006) Indigenous peoples, poverty and human development in Latin America, 1994–2004. Palgrave Macmillan, London

Hall G, Patrinos H (2010) Indigenous peoples poverty and development. World Bank, Washington, DC

Hardin G (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243–1248

Hardoy L (1999) Ciudades Precolombinas, 2nd edn. Buenos Aires

Hareven T (1991) The history of the family and the complexity of social change. Am Hist Rev 96(1):95–124

Hobsbawm E, Ranger R (1992) The invention of tradition. University of London, London

Hoff K, Pandey P (2004) Belief Systems and durable inequalities; an experimental investigation of Indian caste. World Bank Policy Research, WP 3351

Hoff K, Sen A (2005) The kin system as a poverty trap? World Bank Policy Research, WP 3575

INEGI (2010) General census of population and housing, 2010, Mexico. http://www.inegi.org.mx

INEGI General census of population and housing, several years. http://www.inegi.org.mx

Jiménez Pozo W, Landa Casazola F, Yañez Aguilar E (2010) Bolivia. In: Hall G, Patrinos H (eds) Indigenous peoples, poverty and human development in Latin America 1994–2004. Palgrave Macmillan, London

Kihlstrom R, Laffont J (1979) A general equilibrium entrepreneurial theory of firm formation based on risk aversion. J Pol Econ 87(4):719–748

Kingsbury B (1998) Indigenous peoples in international law: a constructivist approach to the Asian controversy. Am J Int Law 92(3):414–457

Krugman P (1979) Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade. J Int Econ 9:469–479

Lasimbang J (2008) Indigenous peoples and local economic development. Indigenous Peoples Local Econ Dev 5:42–45

Light I, Steven S (2000) Ethnic economies. Academic, San Diego

Lira A, Muro L (1977) El diglo de la integración. Cosío Villegas D (ed) Historia general de México. El Colegio de México, Mexico

Lucas R (1978) On the size distribution of firms. Bell J Econ 9(2):508–523

Luenberger D (1995) Microeconomic theory. McGraw-Hill, New York

Luna Ruiz J (2007a) Nahuas de Tlaxcala: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Luna Ruiz X (2007b) Mazatecos: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

MacLeod B (2013) On economics: a review of Why nations fail by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson and Pillars of prosperity by T. Besley and T. Persson. J Econ Lit 51(1):116–143

Masurel E, Nijkamp P, Tastan M, Vindigni G (2002) Motivations and performance conditions for ethnic entrepreneurship. Growth Change 33(2):238–360

Martinez Veiga U (1990) Antropología Económica. Icaria, Barcelona

Mead M (1972) Culture and commitment, a study of the generation gap. Panther, London

Mendoza M, Ferro L, Solorio E (2006) Otomíes del semidesierto de Queretaro: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Millán S, Valle J (eds) (2003) La comunidad sin límites; estructura social y organización económica comunitaria en las regiones indígenas de México, vols I, II, III. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico

Mindek D (2003) Mixtecos: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Monzoy Gutierrez S (2006) Nahuas de la Costa-Sierra de Michoacán: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Moore RL (1983) Employer, discrimination evidence from self-employed workers. Rev Econ Stat 65(3):496–501

Moreno B, Garret M, Fierro U (2006) Otomíes del Valle del Mezquital: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Morett J, Cosío C (2004) Los jornaleros agrícolas de México. Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, Diana, Mexico

Nee V, Sanders J (1996) Immigrant self-employment: the family as social capital and the value of human capital. Am Soc Rev 61:231–249

Obregón Rodríguez MC (2003) Tzotziles: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Ordorica M, Rodríguez C, Velázquez B, Maldonado I (2009) El Índice de Reemplazo Etnolingüístico entre la población indígena de México. Desacatos, Revista de Antropología Social 29(1):123–140

Parker S (2004) The economics of self employment and entrepreneurship. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Patrinos H, Skoufias E (2007) Economic opportunities for indigenous peoples in Latin America. World Bank Policy Research, WP 4227

Peredo A, Anderson R (2006) Indigenous entrepreneurship research: themes and variations. In: Galbraith CS, Stiles CH (eds) Developmental entrepreneurship: adversity, risk, and isolation. Elsevier, Oxford

Platteau JP (2000) Institutions, social norms, and economic development. Harwood Academic, Amsterdam

Platteau JP (2009) Institutional obstacles to African economic development: state, ethnicity, and custom. J Econ Behav Organ 71:669–689

Psacharopoulos G, Patrinos A (1994) Indigenous people and poverty in Latin America; an empirical analysis. The World Bank, Washington, DC

Questa A, Utrilla B (2006) Otomíes del Norte del Estado de México y sur de Queretaro: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Radcliffe S, Laurie N, Andolina R (2008) Indigenous people and political transnationalism: globalization from below meets globalization from above? Transnational Indigenous Communities in Ecuador and Bolivia. Transnational Communities Programme Seminar, University of Oxford

Reina L (1996) La respuesta rural en México frente al proyecto liberal modernizador del siglo XIX. In: Bonilla H, Guerrero Rincón AA (eds) Los pueblos campesinos de las Américas: etnicidad, cultura e historia en el siglo XIX. Bucaramanga, Colombia

Reina L (2009) Book review: Los pueblos indios en los tiempos de Benito Juárez. In: Ohmstede A (ed) Historia mexicana, LVIII (4). El Colegio de México, Mexico

Reuben E, Riedl A (2013) Enforcement of contribution norms in public good games with heterogeneous populations. Game Econ Behav 77:122–137

Ruiz MH (1997) Etnicidad, territorio y trabajo en las fincas decimonónicas de Comitán, Chiapas. In: Reina (ed) La reindianización de América. Siglo Veintiuno, CIESAS, Mexico

Ruiz MH (2006) Mayas: primera parte; pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Ruiz Medrano E (2010) Mexico’s indigenous communities: their lands and histories, 1500–2010. University of Colorado Press, Boulder

Sahlinis M (1963) Poor Man, rich man, big man, chief: political types in Melanesia and Polynesia. Comp Stud Soc Hist 5(3):285–303

Salanié B (2000) Microeconomics of market failures. MIT Press, Cambridge

Sanders J, Nee V (1996) Immigrant self-employment: the family as social capital and the value of human capital. Am Sociol Rev 61(2):231–249

Schumacher E (1973) Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered. Blond & Briggs, London

Scott Long J (1997) Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables. Sage Press, Thousand Oaks

Simons RA, Malmgren R (2008) This land is your land, this land is my land: toward a global analysis of the determinants of successful indigenous tribal land claims. In: Simons RA, Malmgren RM, Small G (eds) Indigenous peoples and real estate valuation. Springer Science + Business Media, New York

Smelser N (1959) Social Change in the industrial revolution; an application of theory to the Lancashire cotton industry, 1770–1840. Routledge, London

Soustelle J (1962) Daily life of the Aztecs on the eve of the Spanish conquest. Macmillan, New York

Sutton J (2007) Market structure: theory and evidence. In: Armstrong M, Porter R (eds) Handbook of industrial organization. North Holland, Amsterdam

Valle Esquivel J (2003) Nahuas de la Huasteca: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Valle Esquivel J, Hernández Alvarado JB (2006) Huastecos de Veracruz: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Wacher Rodarte M (2006) Nahuas de Milpa Alta: pueblos indígenas del México contemporáneo. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, México

Warman A (1985) Estrategias de sobrevivencia de los campesinos mayas. Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM, México

Weisdorf J (2006) From domestic manufacture to Industrial Revolution: long-run growth and agricultural development. Oxford Econ Pap 58:264–287

Wilk R (1996) Economies & cultures; foundations of economic anthropology. Westview Press, Boulder

Wooldrige J (2002) Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. MIT Press, London

Wu Y, Zhang J (2001) The effects of inflation on the number of firms and firm size. J Money Credit Bank 33(2):251–271

Downloads

Published

2024-06-06

Issue

Section

Regular articles

How to Cite

Economic behavior of indigenous peoples: the Mexican case. (2024). Latin American Economic Review, 23, 1-58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40503-014-0012-4

Similar Articles

1-10 of 25

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.