Abstract - The Information Society 19(1)

The Development of E-Commerce in Mexico: a Business-led Passing Boom or a Step Toward the Emergence of a Digital Economy?

Juan J. Palacios

Since its inception in the early 1990s, e-commerce has grown swiftly in Mexico, making inroads into some of the most dynamic sectors of the Mexican economy. The actual extent of e-commerce use, however, is still very limited, as diffusion is hindered by both the low income levels of most Mexican households and the fact that the overwhelming majority of business establishments are very small, lacking the resources to invest in computers and the business culture to go on-line. This article examines the emergence of e-commerce in Mexico arguing that the main drivers of the process have been the initiatives of large private firms and the work of specialized organizations. It concludes that this is not just a passing boom but a concrete step toward the rise of an Internet-based economy in Mexico along the lines of the New Economy that took shape in the United States in the 1990s and is assumed to spread into developing nations.

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