Colonial independence and economic backwardness in Latin America
AbstractThis paper explores the connections between independence from Spain and Portugal and economic backwardness in Latin America. The release of the fiscal burden was offset by higher costs of self-government, while opening up to the international economy represented a handmaiden of growth. Independence had a very different impact across regions and widened regional disparities. The commitment to the colonial mercantilism conditioned the new republics’ performance but, on the whole, GDP per head increased in the half a century after emancipation. It appears that inherited Iberian institutions cannot be blamed for Latin America’s poor performance relative to the US, especially if the scope is widened to include the post-independence performance of former European colonies in Africa and Asia. It is suggested that before jumping to the usual negative assessment of nineteenth century Latin America, a comparison of post-independence performance in other world regions will be required.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22482.
Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
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Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
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Other versions of this item:
- Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2004. "Colonial Independence And Economic Backwardness In Latin America," Working Papers in Economic History wh046503, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
- F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
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