By Steve Johnson / Financial Times
During the decade to 2013, Mexico managed to grind out average growth in output per worker of just 0.7 per cent.
In contrast, Malaysia, a country with almost identical levels of wealth per capita, saw its gross domestic product per person employed rise by 2.4 per cent a year.
Every other major middle-income country, from eastern Europe to Asia, also outstripped Mexico in this regard. Even Brazil, the next worst performer managed growth of 1.2 per cent a year in output per worker.
There will doubtless be a number of factors behind Mexico’s sluggish showing, but one that stands out like the proverbial thumb is the country’s glaring weaknesses in many structural and social issues.
And Mexico’s standing in the global league tables does not make impressive reading.
In the World Economic Forum’s 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Report, Mexico is placed 140th out of 144 countries for the deleterious impact of organised crime, 110th for corruption, 114th for the extent of market dominance by oligopolistic companies, 123rd for the quality of its education system and 103rd in terms of its hiring and firing practices.