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The First World War and coal trade geography in Latin America and the Caribbean (1890-1930)


  • Anna Carreras Marin
  • Marc Badia Miro

    (Universitat de Barcelona)


This paper aims to illustrate the dynamics of coal trade between Latin America and its main trade partners, i.e. the USA, Great Britain and Germany, before and after the enormous disruption caused by the First World War. The coal trade was used as an indicator of modernization for Latin American countries, given that oil was at that time of secondary importance. Energy imports have determined the possibilities of each Latin American country in its process of development. Here we address this question and place special emphasis on supply channels, concluding that the trade link with main suppliers was of key significance. Although this was very clear by the end of the period, the process had started well before the First World War, at least for the majority of LA&C countries. These points are developed through a gravity model applied to the bilateral coal trade. The importance of the market supplier share is addressed through cluster methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Carreras Marin & Marc Badia Miro, 2007. "The First World War and coal trade geography in Latin America and the Caribbean (1890-1930)," Working Papers in Economics 172, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2007172

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hofman, André A., 2000. "The economic development of Latin America in the twentieth century," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1650 edited by Eclac, December.
    2. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • N76 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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