Stephen Haber


FragileByDesignCoverCharles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber, Fragile By Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (Princeton University Press, 2014).

Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, Fragile by Design demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents due to unforeseen circumstances. Rather, these fluctuations result from the complex bargains made between politicians, bankers, bank shareholders, depositors, debtors, and taxpayers. The well-being of banking systems depends on the abilities of political institutions to balance and limit how coalitions of these various groups influence government regulations.

Ordering Links: Amazon, Princeton University Press

book coverStephen Haber and Aldo Musacchio. Los Buenos Tiempos son Estos: Los Efectos de la Incursión de la Banca Extranjera en México despues de un Siglo de Crisis Bancarias. Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias.

Los buenos tiempos son éstos es una obra referencial en cuanto al tema de la extranjerización de la banca mexicana, el cual es uno de los fenómenos más discutidos dada su repercusión en el día a día del México contemporáneo.

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MexicoSince1980CoverStephen Haber, Herbert S. Klein, Noel Maurer, and Kevin J. Middlebrook. Mexico Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

This book addresses two questions that are crucial to understanding Mexico’s current economic and political challenges. Why did the opening up of the economy to foreign trade and investment not result in sustained economic growth? Why has electoral democracy not produced rule of law? The answer to those questions lies in the ways in which Mexico’s long history with authoritarian government shaped its judicial, taxation, and property rights institutions.

Ordering Links: Amazon, Cambridge University Press

PoliticalInstitutionsAndFinancialDevelopmentCoverStephen Haber, Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast eds., Political Institutions and Financial Development (Stanford University Press, 2007).

Economists have long maintained that a well-developed and functioning financial system is a vital prerequisite to economic growth. Countries with robust banking sectors and securities markets—that is, countries in which credit cards, loans, mortgages, and the ability to issue stocks and bonds are available to a broad swath of consumers and businesses—are more prosperous than countries that restrict such access to a favored elite. What is less clear is why some countries develop better financial systems than others. The essays in this volume employ the insights and techniques of political science, economics, and history to provide a fresh answer to this question.

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PoliticsOfPropertyRightsCoverStephen Haber, Armando Razo and Noel Maurer, The Politics of Property Rights: Political Instability, Credible Commitments, and Economic Growth in Mexico, 1876-1929 (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

This detailed economic history of Mexico presents a theory about how rent seeking permits economic growth and explains why political instability is not necessarily correlated with economic stagnation. It is intended for historians of Latin America, scholars interested in economic development, and political scientists interested in the political foundations of growth.

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MexicanEconomy18701930CoverJeffrey L. Bortz and Stephen Haber eds., The Mexican Economy, 1870-1930: Essays on the Economic History of Institutions,
Revolution, and Growth
(Stanford University Press, 2002).

During the period of the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship (1876-1911), a series of institutional reforms reignited growth and created rents that enabled the Díaz government to threaten its opponents with military force or to buy them off. Porfirian Mexico is an excellent natural laboratory in which to investigate not only how institutional change can foment economic growth, but also how specific features of political institutions give rise to specific economic institutions that have both positive and negative effects on growth and distribution. This book aims both to identify the crucial institutions and to measure their economic effects.

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CronyCapitalismCoverStephen Haber ed., Crony Capitalism and Economic Growth in Latin America: Theory and Evidence (Hoover Institution Press, 2002).

Crony capitalism systems—in which those close to political policymakers receive favors allowing them to earn returns far above market value—are a fundamental feature of the economies of Latin America. Haber and his expert contributors draw from case studies in Mexico, Brazil, and other countries around the world to examine the causes and consequences of cronyism.

Ordering Links: Amazon, Hoover Institution Press

PoliticalInstitutionsAndEconomicGrowthCoverStephen Haber ed., Political Institutions and Economic Growth in Latin America: Essays in Policy, History, and
Political Economy
(Hoover Institution Press, 2000).

Political Institutions and Economic Growth in Latin America offers a new contribution to the literature on institutions and growth through the analysis of historical cases of institutional change and economic growth in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The contributors base their approach on the New Institutionalism—a body of theory that posits that the specific features of regulation exert powerful effects on the efficiency of firms and markets. Using three key analytic perspectives—historical, economic, and political—the authors provide both insights about the economic performances of real-world economies and a methodological framework for further research.

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HowLatinAmericaFellBehindCoverStephen Haber ed. How Latin America Fell Behind: Essays on the Economic Histories of Brazil and Mexico, 1800-1914
(Stanford University Press, 1997).

In 1800, the per capita income of the United States was twice that of Mexico and roughly the same as Brazil’s. By 1913, it was four times greater than Mexico’s and seven times greater than Brazil’s. This volume seeks to explain the nineteenth-century lag in Latin American economic development. The essays break with longstanding dependency traditions in Latin American historiography that focus on foreign influences to explain Latin American underdevelopment. Instead, they apply the approaches and methods of the New Economic History—which encompasses a wide arsenal of analytic tools and quantitative techniques informed by neo-classical economic theory—arguing that the causes for Latin America’s laggard economic growth in the nineteenth century had far more to do with internal political and legal structures than putative external dependency.

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IndustryAndUnderdevelopmentCoverStephen Haber, Industry and Underdevelopment: The Industrialization of Mexico, 1890-1940 (Stanford University Press, 1989).

The recent economic troubles of Mexico should have surprised no one, for the Mexican economy is an unhealthy one whose basic problems extend back to the nineteenth century—that is the major theme of this study of the formative years of industrialization in Mexico. The author focuses on the forces—economic, political, and technological—that have thwarted Mexican efforts to become a competitive member of the international economic community. Unlike most previous studies, which have relied on aggregate data published by the Mexican government that lump together all industries and all firms, this study is based almost entirely on new material concerning individual companies and individual entrepreneurs.

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