The Impact of Globalization on Argentina and Chile

The Impact of Globalization on Argentina and Chile

Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurship

Edited by Geoffrey Jones and Andrea Lluch

During the first global economy of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Argentina became one of the richest countries on earth, while Chile was an economic backwater. During the contemporary era of globalization, liberalization and institutional reforms in Chile provided a context in which business grew, while in Argentina, institutional dysfunction made productive business hard to sustain. This book explores the complex relationships between corporate behavior, institutions and economic growth through the contrasting experiences of Argentina and Chile. In nine chapters written by prominent business historians, the work addresses the role of business in these two eras of globalization, examining the impact of multinationals, the formation of business groups, and relations between business and governments. It places the regional experience within the context of the worldwide history of globalization.

Chapter 2: Corporate governance and ownership in Chile, 1854–2012

Gonzalo Islas

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, international business, economics and finance, economic psychology


The analysis of corporate governance practices and ownership schemes concerns both academics and public officials. The impact of these on financial development and economic growth has garnered increasing attention ever since the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and US corporate scandals in the early 2000s. Corporate governance issues have also been included in the debate over causes underlying the 2008 financial crisis. Existing differences among corporate governance practices across different countries have also captured researchers’ interest. A number of studies show that dispersed ownership – a common structure in the United States and the United Kingdom – is less frequent in the rest of the world where equity concentration prevails. However, given that these studies are based on contemporary data, they fail to explain the origins of such differences. This has now encouraged a historical approach to the study of corporate governance. This chapter contributes to this literature by providing a long-term perspective on the changes in ownership, corporate governance and their related legal frameworks in Chile since the mid-nineteenth century.

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