Do Walmartians rule? The political influence of the emerging middle class

  • Ricardo Cantú EGAP/ITESM Campus Monterrey
  • Héctor J. Villarreal EGAP/ITESM Campus Monterrey
Keywords: voting, welfare, durable goods, Mexico, middle class
JEL Classification: D12, D72


The present paper tries to answer the following question: did an increase in the consumption of durable goods -such as electric appliances help the incumbent party to retain the Mexican presidency in 2006? Stated differently, did the middle class vote to support the current economic model? Important data limitations made the use of indirect tests and correlations necessary, rather than causalities -with the associated identification problems. Nonetheless, the paper was not able to reject the hypothesis mentioned above. In a tight election, a small effect could make the difference; and this analysis suggests that this is likely what happened.


Arnold, T. M. and T. Crack (1999). A Practical Guide to GMM (with Applications to Optimal Pricing), Department of Finances and Quantitative Analysis, University of Otago, Working Paper.

Behrman, J. R., S. W. Parker and P. E. Todd (2005). Long-term impacts of the oportunidades conditional cash tranfers program on rural youth in Mexico, in S. Klasen. And F. Nowak-Lehmann (Eds.), Poverty, Inequality, and Policy in Latin American, 2nd ed., MIT Press.

Birdsall, N. (2002), From social policy to an Open-economy social contract in Latin America, Center for Global Development, Working Paper no.21.

Consulta Mitofsky (2006). Así van… Encuesta nacional de viviendas. Second fortnight of June 2006. Available at

Consulta Mitofsky (2006). 2 de julio de 2006, análisis de la elección. Encuesta de salida, July 2nd, 2006. Available at

Deaton, A. (1997). The analysis of household surveys: A microeconometric approach to development policy, The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Dixit, A. and J. Londregan (1998). Ideology, tactics, and efficiency in redistributive politics. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113(2), 497-529.

Federal Electoral Institute (2007). Estadísticas y resultados electorales, retrieved on October 21,

INEGI (2006). Encuesta nacional de ingresos y gastos de los hogares, ENIGH, available at,

Institute of Marketing and Opinion (2006). Resultados de la encuesta de salida del IMO en la elección presidencial de México del 2 de julio de 2006: perfiles de votantes, retrieved on October 21, available at,

Johnson R. A. and D. W. Wichern (1998). Applied multivariate statistical analysis, 4th E. Prentice Hall.

Lora, E. and M. Olivera (2004). What makes reforms likely: Political economy determinants of reforms in Latin American, Journal of Applied Economics, 7(1), 99-135.

Lyons, J. (2006). In Mexican race, ´Wal-mart´Voter may hold the key, The Wall Street Journal, June 7, available at,

Mishkin, F. S. (1978). Consumer sentiment and spending on durable goods, Brookings papers on Economic Activity, Issue 1, 217-232.

Moreno, A., M. A. Mancillas, and R. Gutiérrez (2006). Encuesta/ polarizan votos punteros, Grupo Reforma, June 23,

Sadoulet. E., B. Davis, and A. de Janvry (2001). Cash transfers programs with income multipliers: PROCAMPO in Mexico, World Development, 29(6). 1043-1056.

Soutar, G. N. and S. P. Cornish-Ward (1997). Ownership patterns for durable goods and financial assets: a Rash analysis, Applied Economics, 29(7), 903-911.

The Economics (2007). Adiós to poverty, hola to consumption, August 16,

Tomlinson, M. (2003). Lifestyle and social class, European Sociological Review, 19(1), 97-111.

Villarreal, H. J. (2006). As intertemporal comparison of income and welfare for two Mexican regions, EGAP, WP no. 2006-2, ITEMS.

How to Cite
CantúR., & VillarrealH. (2009). Do Walmartians rule? The political influence of the emerging middle class. Estudios Económicos, 24(1), 89-108.
  • Abstract viewed - 143 times
  • PDF downloaded - 44 times