Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurship
Edited by Geoffrey Jones and Andrea Lluch
Chapter 7: From a guaranteeing state to an entrepreneurial state: the relationship between Argentina’s state and urban utility companies, 1880–1955
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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