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 7: From a guaranteeing state to an entrepreneurial state: the relationship between Argentina’s state and urban utility companies, 1880–1955

Norma Silvana Lanciotti

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


The role of the state in late-industrializing economies has long been central to debates on Latin American economic development. The critical role of the state was emphasized by the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, or CEPAL in Spanish) after 1948. More recently the neo-institutionalist and corporate governance literatures have revisited state-business relationships as a key component in the economic performance of developing economies. state-business collaboration has been seen in these literatures as an important condition for economic development, provided institutional arrangements could enable the exchange of information via reciprocity and trust-based ties. In Argentina, development debates have defined the scope of studies focusing on the state policies that shaped the business environment amidst the fluctuating macroeconomic conditions during the second half of the twentieth century. However, the analysis of state intervention forms, procedures and devices, as well as the relationship between the state and companies since the formation of Argentine nation state to the 1950s, has not received similar attention. The historiographical consensus on the existence of a non-interventionist liberal state before 1930 has now started to crumble.

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