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The Argentine Economy after Two Centuries

Author

Listed:
  • Francisco Buera
  • Gaston Navarro
  • Juan Pablo Nicolini

Abstract

We document the behavior of income per capita in Argentina subsequent to independence and the civil wars of the mid-19th century. We first decompose the data to isolate low frequency behavior and show that, with significant departures over some periods of time, income per capita grew, on average, at 1.2% per year. The decomposition shows that the largest departure from this behavior is the period from 1974 to 2010, when there was a large and sustained deviation from the trend, with two subperiodsof rapid convergence. Using a simple version of Solow’s growth model as a conceptual framework, we focus our analysis on that particular period. We calibrate and simulate the model from 1950 onwards and use its predictions to provide a quantitative measure of the extremely poor performance of the Argentine economy since 1974. We also use a simple model of the government budget constraint to account for the macroeconomic history of Argentina during that same period. We argue that the systematic mismanagement of government budgets is the principal reason for Argentina’s long departure from the trend. The two subperiods of rapid convergence coincide with the two subperiods of macro fiscal discipline.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Buera & Gaston Navarro & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2011. "The Argentine Economy after Two Centuries," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 48(2), pages 133-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:cuadec:v:48:y:2011:i:2:p:133-156
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    File URL: http://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/482buea.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Javier Garcia-Cicco & Roberto Pancrazi & Martin Uribe, 2010. "Real Business Cycles in Emerging Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 2510-2531.
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    Keywords

    Macroeconomic instability; Argentina’s stagnation; fiscal deficit; debt accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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