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Latin America in the Twentieth Century: Stagnation, then Collapse

  • Andy Neumeyer
  • Hugo Hopenhayn

Most Latin American countries experienced their last peak in output per capita relative to the United States’ between 1971 and 1982. Prior to this peak per capita output was rapidly catching up to the developed world. Twenty years after the peak the average country’s relative per capita output was 68% of its peak level. A growth accounting exercise shows that between 1960 and 1985 the contribution of physical capital to growth, at 74%, was more than twice the world’s average. There is an investment/productivity puzzle since capital accumulation was among the highest in the world and productivity growth one of the lowest. Import Substitution Industrialization and targeted investment subsidies may be the key to understanding Latin America’s lack of development

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings with number 326.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:326
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  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  3. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-98, March.
  4. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. José De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1999. "Economic Growth in Latin America: Sources and Prospects," Documentos de Trabajo 66, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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