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The Political Economy of Argentina's Debacle


  • Marcos Buscaglia


In this paper I argue that political economy considerations and, in particular, the identity of the reformers, are central to understanding the Argentine crisis that culminated in sovereign default in January 2002. During the 1990s, the main political parties remained attached to populism, and no strong party emerged at the center of the political spectrum. This had two effects in the reform process. First, it severely deteriorated it (efficiency, corruption), reducing the support of the population. Second, when a series of shocks hit the economy the anti-reform camp tried to undo most reforms, and thus convey a message to the population about the “right” model of the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcos Buscaglia, 2004. "The Political Economy of Argentina's Debacle," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 43-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:43-65 DOI: 10.1080/1384128042000219726

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    2. Juliana Bambaci & Tamara Saront & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "The Political Economy of Economic Reforms in Argentina," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 75-88.
    3. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Juan Jose Cruces & Marcos Buscaglia & Joaquin Alonso, 2002. "The Term Structure of Country Risk and Valuation in Emerging Markets," Working Papers 46, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Apr 2002.
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    More about this item


    Argentina; Currency Crisis; Political Economy of Reform; JEL Codes: F31; E60;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General


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