Peopling the Pampa: On the Impact of Mass Migration to the River Plate, 1870-1914
The Argentine economy was transformed in the late nineteenth century by the mass migration of millions of Europeans. Various ideas have surfaced concerning the likely impact of this labor inflow: that it favored the wheat revolution on the pampas; that it promoted urbanization and the rapid growth of Buenos Aires; that it paved the way for Argentine industrialization; that it caused slack in the labor markets, lowering wages. This paper attempts an analysis of the impact of migration on the scale and structure of the Argentine economy and tries to resolve various competing hypotheses. The paper presents a new social accounting matrix (SAM) for Argentina, and uses it to calibrate a CGE model. Both tools show promise for further exploration of growth and structural change during and after the Belle ?poque.
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