Global Insights and Explanations
- Global Development Network series
Edited by Gary McMahon, Hadi Salehi Esfahani and Lyn Squire
Chapter 4: Economic Growth in Latin America in the Twentieth Century
Gary McMahon This chapter focuses on the long-run growth experience of the Latin countries of South America and the reasons behind the disappointing performance of most countries in this region in the second half of the twentieth century. It takes as its starting point the case studies in the region undertaken for the GDN sponsored long-run growth project – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, that will be referred to as the ‘sample’.1 In addition, reference is made to the important experiences in Bolivia, Mexico and Venezuela which, when added to the sample, will be referred to as the ‘extended sample’. Most of the Latin countries of South America and Mexico had very similar economic histories in the twentieth century. They were mostly market economies with an orientation toward external trade, often with a heavy dependence on exports of primary products. However, when the markets of their richer trading partners both dried up and turned protectionist in the 1930s, most went into an unstructured type of import-substituting industrialization (ISI). This quasiISI was more the result of using exchange controls and tariff protection for balance of payments reasons and not a well thought-out, coherent plan to change the direction of the economy. There was little strategic intervention by the governments and few state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Nevertheless, in all of the countries discussed in this chapter – and many others in Latin America – except Paraguay – the unstructured ISI turned into a structured or planned economic strategy in either the first or second decade...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.