Edited by Oliver Morrissey and Michael Tribe
Chapter 9: Economic policy and the changing structure of small-scale manufacturing in Quito, Ecuador, 1975–95
9. Economic policy and the changing structure of small-scale manufacturing in Quito, Ecuador, 1975–95 Alan Middleton* 1 CONTEXT: THE ECONOMY OF ECUADOR SINCE THE 1970s The changing position of Ecuador in the international economic system has had a profound effect on its development trajectory. The dramatic changes in international oil prices in 1972, at a time when Ecuador’s production was coming on stream, produced considerable structural change in the national economy. For most of the post-war period, Ecuador has been the world’s largest banana producer and in the early 1970s it became the smallest member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This heralded the beginning of a period of rapid economic growth. However, by the late 1970s the economy was in decline, and 1982 saw the beginning of a period of severe economic adjustment. The aim of this chapter is to examine the performance of small-scale enterprises in Quito during these two periods – the boom in the mid-1970s and adjustment in the 1980s. The study is based on successive ﬁeldwork visits undertaken by the author (see the Appendix for details) which reveal dramatic changes in the structure and fortunes of smallscale enterprises. We begin with an overview of the performance of the economy. Between 1972 and 1973, GDP grew by 25.3 per cent and for the rest of the decade it grew by an annual average rate of 6 per cent (Banco Central, 1980). Growth after 1972 was not due to oil production alone. Other sectors of...
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