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Intraregional trade in South America, 1913-50. Economic linkages before institutional agreements

Author

Listed:
  • Jose Peres Cajias
  • Marc Badia-Miro
  • Anna Carreras-Marin

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

With the exception of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), trade integration is still modest in Latin America, at around 20% of total trade. Surprisingly, these levels were higher in 1945, when the figure for imports stood at 25.6%. Paradoxically, this result shows that trade integration reached its peak before trade integration agreements were signed. To understand the reasons for this, we examine intraregional trade throughout the interwar period (1913-1950). We analyze five national cases: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. As far as we know, this is the first paper in the literature on intraregional trade during the interwar period. There are other papers on intraregional trade in Latin America, but they focus on the period after the 1960s. The analysis of intraregional trade in the interwar period is also useful to the Latin American industrialization debate. Given the disruption in world trade flows and the existence of some industrial capacity, the paper looks at any possible increase in intra-industry trade. There are two main conclusions: a) with the exception of the World War periods, intraregional trade has been low since 1913; b) in general, intraregional trade reflects the overall trade specialization: there is a high concentration of low value added products.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Peres Cajias & Marc Badia-Miro & Anna Carreras-Marin, 2012. "Intraregional trade in South America, 1913-50. Economic linkages before institutional agreements," Working Papers in Economics 270, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2012270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Federico, Giovanni & Tena, Antonio, 1991. "On the accuracy of foreign trade statistics (1909-1935): Morgenstern revisited," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 259-273, July.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Latin American Economic History: new questions, new data, old problems
      by sebastianfleitas in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-03-18 23:25:09
    2. International Trade Within Regions
      by Timothy Taylor in Conversable Economist on 2012-04-04 16:00:00
    3. Latin American Economic History: new questions, new data, old problems
      by sebastianfleitas in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-03-18 23:25:09

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N76 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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