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On the Latin American Growth Paradox: A Hindsight into the Golden Age

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  • Giorgia Barboni

    (LEM, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies)

  • Tania Treibich

    (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)

Abstract

In 1950, Latin American countries capabilities were promising, and the subcontinent was thought to have a big potential for convergence. In order to understand why this prediction was not fullled, we apply in this paper the framework set by Fagerberg and Srholec (2008). Our study of the economic evolution of Latin America during the Golden Age (1950-1975) is based on historical data on economic, political and social variables from 18 countries. We use a factor analysis to classify our 20 indicators into ve dimensions: the level of "industrialization", "human capital", the "macroeconomic fundamentals", "politics" and "religion". We nd that only the quality of human capital and the presence of Roman Catholics signicantly and positively aected Latin American economic growth in this period, while the determinants traditionally put forward in the empirical growth literature, such as technical change and openness, did not. Finally, the positive correlation between the religion and education variables reveals that this result is partly related to the role of the Catholic Church as an educational institution.
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Suggested Citation

  • Giorgia Barboni & Tania Treibich, 2010. "On the Latin American Growth Paradox: A Hindsight into the Golden Age," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-35, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:1035
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin & Knell, Mark, 2007. "The Competitiveness of Nations: Why Some Countries Prosper While Others Fall Behind," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1595-1620, October.
    2. Fiaschi, Davide & Lavezzi, Andrea Mario, 2003. "Distribution Dynamics and Nonlinear Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 379-401, December.
    3. De Gregorio, Jose, 1992. "Economic growth in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 59-84, July.
    4. Fulvio Castellacci, 2004. "A neo-Schumpeterian Approach to Why Growth Rates Differ," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1145-1169.
    5. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin, 2008. "National innovation systems, capabilities and economic development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1417-1435, October.
    6. A. C. Rayner, 1970. "The Use of Multivariate Analysis in Development Theory: A Critique of the Approach Adopted by Adelman and Morris," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 639-647.
    7. Temple, Jonathan & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 1998. "Human capital, equipment investment, and industrialization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1343-1362, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Domingo Rodríguez Benavides & Ignacio Perrotini Hernández & Miguel Ángel Mendoza González, 2014. "Economic Growth and Convergence in Latin America, 1950-2010," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 253-284, July-Dece.
    2. Luigi Aldieri & Giuseppina Autiero, 2013. "Religious values, secular education and development:empirical evidence from some Latin American countries," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 15-32, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis

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