The first of these books delightfully describes the colonial silver city of Guanajuato, and attempts to draw urban planning conclusions from its morphology and the circulation of its people and vehicles. The study was written by students of urban development and resulted from a five-day stay in Guanajuato supervised by Myer R. Wolfe of the University of Washington. Little of value for urban analysis seems to have been unearthed. If urban development is really a social science, there is not much evidence of it here. Ambiguous concepts are utilized to draw vague conclusions which at best elaborate the obvious.

The second book is a study of income distribution and occupational changes in Monterrey. It was sponsored by the economic investigation center (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas) of the University of Nuevo León. There is a lengthy and interesting introduction by Ifigenia M. de Navarrete, one of Mexico’s leading authorities on the distribution of income. Data contrasting income, occupational, and educational changes between 1960 and 1965 were derived from studies made by the personnel of the investigation center.

Puenta Leyva’s work is less a study of income distribution than an inquiry into the effects of rural-urban migration on income distribution and the distribution of educational and other public services. Apparently, those considered as indigent and poor constituted 51.2 percent of the population in 1965 and only 34.4 percent in 1960. Undoubtedly although urban-rural migration in a rapidly developing industrial area results in an excess of unskilled labor which industry cannot totally absorb, the degree of this change in Monterrey over only five years is doubtful, and the author himself questions the conclusions indicated by his data.

It appears also that as income in general has increased, the upper and middle income groups have received a higher proportion of the educational services. As both the author and Señora de Navarrete point out, the trend should be reversed if, through education, the excess of the unskilled and poorly educated part of the labor force is to be diminished.

Puenta Leyva’s study is a competent and useful one. Similar studies are needed in other Mexican cities and should be made periodically so that trends could be checked over longer intervals than five years. As yet there are no long-range studies of general Mexican income distribution changes which are not subject to question on some account. Perhaps a city-by-city approach is preferable to a national one, considering the difficulties of estimating national income.

Some of the conclusions which Puenta Leyva reaches, although tentative, are of significance for the theoretical analysis of economic development, and one wishes that they could have been more thoroughly explored. For example, he says that “la distribución del ingreso familiar tiende a ser más inequitiva cuanto más alto es el flujo inmigratorio ... y cuanto más alto es el nivel de desarrollo” (p. 76). He concludes also that the system of income redistribution in Mexico is failing and needs critical review. Like Señora de Navarrete, he is concerned with the economic development and the effective demand aspects of unequal income distribution as well as distributive justice.