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Contract enforcement and Argentina's long-run decline


  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  • Sanz Villarroya, Isabel


Argentina has slipped from being among the ten richest countries in the world by the eve of World War I to its current position close to developing countries. Why did Argentina fall behind? In this paper we employ a structural model to investigate the extent to which contract enforcement, as captured by Clague, Keefer, Knack, and Olson's "Contract Intensive Money", conditioned broad capital accumulation and economic growth in Argentina and, consequently, the country's relative international position. Our results suggest that poor contract enforcement played a major role in Argentina's unique experience of long-run economic decline.

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  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Sanz Villarroya, Isabel, 2006. "Contract enforcement and Argentina's long-run decline," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-06, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp06-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Paolera, Gerardo Della & Taylor, Alan M., 1999. "Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of Macroeconomic Regime," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 567-599, September.
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    10. Hansen, Bruce E, 2002. "Tests for Parameter Instability in Regressions with I(1) Processes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 45-59, January.
    11. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    12. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
    13. Taylor, Alan M., 1992. "External Dependence, Demographic Burdens, and Argentine Economic Decline After the Belle Époque," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 907-936, December.
    14. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
    15. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    16. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1999. "Contract Intensive Money," MPRA Paper 25717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1999. "Contract-Intensive Money: Contract Enforcement, Property Rights, and Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-211, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campos, Nauro F & Karanasos, Menelaos & Tan, Bin, 2008. "Two to Tangle: Financial Development, Political Instability and Economic Growth in Argentina (1896-2000)," CEPR Discussion Papers 7004, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Campos, Nauro F. & Karanasos, Menelaos G. & Tan, Bin, 2009. "From Riches to Rags, and Back? Explaining the Growth Trajectory of Argentina since the 1890s," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 37, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    3. Sebastián Fleitas & Andrés Rius & Carolina Román & Henry Willebald, 2013. "Contract enforcement, investment and growth in Uruguay since 1870," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 13-01, Instituto de Economía - IECON.

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