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Globalización, expansión de la frontera y desigualdad en Chile durante el auge salitrero (1880-1905)


  • Javier E. Rodríguez Weber

    () (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)


The literature on Latin American inequality during the First Globalization inspired by the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson model suggests that inequality rose because of specialization in natural resource-intensive goods. However, this line of research has been criticized because of the simplifications and assumptions of the model. In this paper we argue that even in a neoclassical framework it must be revised in the light of changes in relative factor endowments, such as the expansion of the frontier —a common process in that period. Using a set of new estimates of income inequality in Chile between 1880 and 1905, we show that the expansion of the frontier opened up a process of social change and labor force migrations which improved the income distribution. KEY Classification-JEL: 015, N96, F11, J61

Suggested Citation

  • Javier E. Rodríguez Weber, 2011. "Globalización, expansión de la frontera y desigualdad en Chile durante el auge salitrero (1880-1905)," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 7(01), pages 21-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:07:y:2011:i:01:p:21-55

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S, 1988. "Family Economics and Macro Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 1-13, March.
    2. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    3. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
    4. Clark, Gregory & Hamilton, Gillian, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 707-736, September.
    5. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. E.A. Wasson, 1998. "The Penetration of New Wealth into the English Governing Class from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(1), pages 25-48, February.
    7. Clark, Gregory, 2008. "In defense of the Malthusian interpretation of history," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 175-199, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodríguez Weber, Javier, 2015. "Estimación de desigualdad de ingreso y otras variables relacionadas para Chile entre 1860 y 1970. Metodología y resultados obtenidos
      [Income inequality estimates for Chile between 1860 and 1970. Me
      ," MPRA Paper 68400, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Income distribution; Chile; First Globalization; Expansion of the frontier;

    JEL classification:

    • N96 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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