Dr. Richard Huizar, collaborator of the Global and International Studies Program, analyzes the lack of privatization of PEMEX, the Mexican oil company in the article “Surviving privatization in the era of neo-liberalism: A case study of Mexico’s oil company (PEMEX)”, published by the journal The Extractive Industries and Society.
Mexico’s oil company (PEMEX) is a particularly interesting deviant case study in the context of the privatization literature. The literature on the causes of privatization indicates that PEMEX should have been privatized a long time ago since it is suffering from: declining levels of competitiveness, low productivity, and corruption. Economic variables alone do not explain the lack of privatization of the state-owned oil company. Why was the Mexican oil company, PEMEX, not privatized? I maintain that dependence on oil revenues, economic nationalism, labor union strength, and the role of international
actors (the International Monetary Fund, and the United States government) explain why Mexico’s oil company remains state-owned.