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Latin American Growth-Inequality Trade-Offs: The Impact of Insurgence and Independence

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  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

Did independence push Latin America down a growth-inequality trade-off? During the late colonial decades, the region completed two centuries of growth unmatched anywhere and inequality reached spectacular heights. During the half century after insurgency and independence, inequality fell steeply and growth was so modest that the period is called the lost decades. With the appearance of the belle époque in the 1870s, growth rose to impressive levels, again even by world standards, and inequality surged to the highest levels ever, where they have remained for a century. This paper explores the connection.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15680.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15680

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  1. Milanovic,Branko & Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Measuring ancient inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 4412, The World Bank.
  2. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1999. "Real wages, inequality and globalization in latin america before 1940," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(S1), pages 101-142, March.
  3. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  4. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Globalization and the Poor Periphery before 1950," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232502, December.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 4199, The World Bank.
  6. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Roman Studer, 2007. "India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford _068, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Grafe, Regina & Irigoin, Maria Alejandra, 2006. "The Spanish Empire and its legacy: fiscal redistribution and political conflict in colonial and post-colonial Spanish America," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 241-267, July.
  9. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "The Economic Tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," Scholarly Articles 12211559, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "Land, Labor, And Globalization In The Third World, 1870 1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(01), pages 55-85, March.
  12. Clingingsmith, David & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th century India: Mughal decline, climate shocks and British industrial ascent," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 209-234, July.
  13. Maria Alejandra Irigoin, 2003. "Macroeconomic aspects of Spanish American independence: the effects of fiscal and currency fragmentation, 1800s-1860s," Economic History Working Papers, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History 50687, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  14. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," NBER Working Papers 13841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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