Business-Government Relations and Industrial Policy at the Subnational Level: The Cases of Nuevo León and Puebla in Mexico

Latin America experienced decentralization processes at the end of the XXth century that granted subnational governments with a larger leeway to undertake industrial and education policies. Yet the degree to which regional governments adopt programs to stimulate higher technology sectors and vocational training to increase skilled-workers availability varies widely. In this paper I explore how business cohesion shapes industrial and vocational policies at the subnational level, through a most-similar case study analysis of two Mexican states: Nuevo León and Puebla from 2004-2015. The paper reveals that a cohesive business sector in Nuevo León has been able to foster higher technology sectors and vocational training institutions. Meanwhile Puebla has lacked an agreement amongst its business community that prevents the development of more technology intensive activities and vocational training institutions. More generally, the paper contributes to the varieties of capitalism in literature.

Mariana Rangel Padilla /ITESM