make the most of Lovereading books of the month
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Elites and Economic Development Comparative Studies on the Political Economy of Latin American Cities by John Walton

Elites and Economic Development Comparative Studies on the Political Economy of Latin American Cities

Part of the LLILAS Latin American Monograph Series Series


Elites and Economic Development Comparative Studies on the Political Economy of Latin American Cities by John Walton

This book is a detailed comparative analysis of development politics in four urban regions of Latin America, two in Mexico and two in Colombia. John Walton has based his studies on the assumption that the problems of economic growth are essentially political, that is, are problems of choice, decision-making, and the exercise of power. His fundamental purpose has been to discover how elites of different kinds are more and less successful in the promotion of economic development, which he defines as a process in the organization of a society leading not only to higher levels of efficient output but also to a more equitable distribution of benefits. At the time, the four cities compared were the second- and third-largest metropolitan areas in each country, Guadalajara and Monterrey in Mexico, Medellin and Cali in Colombia. This selection allows the author to pair, across countries, cases of early and large-scale industrialization (Monterrey and Medellin) with cases of more recent industrial growth in agricultural-commercial centers (Guadalajara and Cali). Walton presents historical introductions to each of the regions and integrates these with original fieldwork and interviews with more than three hundred members of the political and economic elites. The findings are extensive, but in general they demonstrate that where political and economic power is more broadly distributed, where elites are more open and accessible, and where organizational life is more active and coordinated, regions tend to develop qualitatively as well as quantitatively, showing increases both in productivity and in such benefits as public services, housing, education, and a more balanced distribution of income. If these characteristics are absent, regions may be industrialized but do not provide a broad sharing of the benefits. Walton places a good deal of emphasis on the role of foreign investments, demonstrating that the more penetrated regions are also the less developed. Finally, the results of these studies are used to evaluate and advance theories of underdevelopment and particularly of economic dependency.

About the Author

John Walton is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st September 1977


John Walton

More books by John Walton
Author 'Like for Like'


University of Texas Press


270 pages


Political economy



Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore