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July 11 , 2007

Measuring Up

A History of Living Standards in Mexico, 1850–1950


Measuring Up traces the high levels of poverty and inequality that Mexico faced in the mid-twentieth century. Using newly developed multidisciplinary techniques, the book provides a perspective on living standards in Mexico prior to the first measurement of income distribution in 1957. By offering an account of material living conditions and their repercussions on biological standards of living between 1850 and 1950, it sheds new light on the life of the marginalized during this period.

Measuring Up shows that new methodologies allow us to examine the history of individuals who were not integrated into the formal economy. Using anthropometric history techniques, the book assesses how a large portion of the population was affected by piecemeal policies and flaws in the process of economic modernization and growth. It contributes to our understanding of the origins of poverty and inequality, and conveys a much-needed, long-term perspective on the living conditions of the Mexican working classes.

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