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Commodity Price Booms and Populist Cycles. An Explanation of Argentina’s Decline in the 20th Century

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  • Emilio Ocampo

Abstract

Argentina’s economic and institutional decline has long posed a conundrum to economists and social scientists. In particular, it challenges theories that seek to explain cross-country growth differences over time. Those theories that claim that institutions have a first-order effect on growth cannot explain the persistent economic decadence of a country that in 1930 was among the most institutionally advanced in Latin America. Theories that claim that that education and growth precede inclusive institutions face a similar problem, since Argentina was one of the most educationally advanced countries in Latin America. The same can be said of theories that claim that social capital is the determinant factor that explains long-term growth. This paper emphasizes the key role played by recurrent cycles of populism in pushing the country into secular decadence and posits that, in Argentina, rising commodity prices have driven the cycles of populism.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilio Ocampo, 2015. "Commodity Price Booms and Populist Cycles. An Explanation of Argentina’s Decline in the 20th Century," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 562, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:562
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilio Ocampo, 2019. "The Economic Analysis of Populism. A Selective Review of the Literature," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 694, Universidad del CEMA.
    2. Emilio Ocampo, 2016. "Measuring the “Tailwind” in an Emerging Market Economy: The Case of Argentina," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 600, Universidad del CEMA.
    3. repec:pal:compes:v:60:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s41294-018-0059-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Emilio Ocampo, 2017. "Fighting inflation in Argentina: A brief history of ten stabilization plans," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 613, Universidad del CEMA.

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    Keywords

    Populism; commodity cycles; Argentina; inequality; institutions; social capital; economic growth; economic decline.;

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