The electric revolution in Latin America
AbstractLatin America participated in the electric revolution which profoundly transformed the most developed Western economies between 1880 and 1930. The electrification of Latin America began relatively soon after these economies, but it was incapable of keeping up with them. Public electric lighting was introduced early in the big Latin American cities, where electric trams started running at almost the same time as in Europe, and electricity spread rapidly in the mining sector. In the most advanced countries or areas in the region, the manufacturing industry substituted the steam engine with the electric motor, following the example of industry in the United States and Europe. Nevertheless, towards 1930 electricity consumption per inhabitant for Latin America was far below that of the more advanced economies, and only the Latin American countries which lead the process of electrification had reached levels of electric consumption that were similar to those of the late industrialised European countries. One of the most striking features of the electric revolution in Latin America is rooted precisely in the enormous national differences. These differences are indicative of the great economic inequalities existing in the heart of the region and these nations’ highly diverse capacity for economic modernisation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1236.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/
Latin American Growth; Comparative Development; Technological Progress; Energy Transition; Electricity.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N76 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Latin America; Caribbean
- N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2010-10-16 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2010-10-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAM-2010-10-16 (Central & South America)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.